Channel One has announced that Russia will not broadcast Eurovision 2017, broadcaster yet to formally withdraw.
Channel One has been informed by the EBU that they have been unable to resolve the dispute between the Ukrainian Authorities and Channel One over the selection of their singer. Channel One considers the decision of the Ukrainian Authorities totally unfounded. The broadcaster will not be broadcasting the contest in Kyiv.
Of note is the fact that Channel One has not formally withdrawn from the contest, nor have they stated they are withdrawing in their statement. Channel One however by stating that they will not broadcast the contest has ruled themselves ineligible to compete in Kyiv. The European Broadcasting Union has yet to respond to the Channel One announcement.
Rossiya-1 and Channel One last month stated that Yulia Samoilova will represent Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 regardless of the venue of the competition. Rossiya-1 is in charge of Russian participation in the Eurovision Song Contest in even years, while Channel One is in charge in odd years.
Yulia Samoilova was banned from entering Ukraine for a period of three years by the Ukrainian Security Service. Yulia was banned after it was found she had traveled to Crimea in 2015 and did not use an official Ukrainian border entrance, thus breaching Ukrainian law.
Following the initial banning of the EBU responded the following day by suggesting that Yulia could perform remotely in Moscow. The proposal was rejected by Channel One who stated they did not want the rules changed for them, while Ukraine insisted that the proposal would reject existing rules. The Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest went on to propose that Ukraine only enforce the ban after the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 has been held in May. Mr Sand’s comments have been followed by statements of disappointment and anger from EBU members at the way the competition is being used for political means by both Ukraine and Russia.
Source: Channel One
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Russia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 and has gone on to be one of the most successful countries in the contest. Since the mid-00s Russia has had a string of strong results including their first and only victory to date in 2008. Dima Bilan won the contest in Belgrade, Serbia with the song “Believe” taking the contest to Moscow the following year. In the past two years Russia has finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the final.