Philip Kirkorov the Russian entrant in Eurovision 1995 and long time supporter of the contest has called on Russia not to return until the voting rules change.

Philip Kirkorov has renewed his call for Russia not to return to the Eurovision Song Contest until changes are made to the way in which the results are calculated. Following last years contest in Stockholm the Russian singer had called for a change to the rule which gave the public a larger say than the jury. This followed Sergey Lazarev winning the televote by a considerable margin but only placing 5th in the jury voting.

Mr Kirkorov’s argument is that the juries are using the current ranking system of 1-26 to unfairly target countries that they do not agree with. In recent years with juries such as the one in Lithuania has placed the Russian entry at the bottom of the scoreboard across all of the five jurors.

In an interview with TASS Philip Kirkorov stated that Russia should not return to the contest until the public vote has a 70% or 80% say in the end result of the contest. Adding that:

A number of countries will continue to settle scores with us, whoever comes,

Jury voting in the competition has been contentious since it was re-introduced in 2009. Jury voting was brought back following complaints from a number of countries including Poland, Austria and the UK that using 100% televote was unfairly impacting the chances of countries from Western Europe. In 2013 Turkey named the introduction of the jury vote in 2009 as one of the reasons that they would no longer compete in the contest.

Russia is not competing in this years Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine. Russia was removed from the contest following Channel One’s decision not to broadcast the contest in Ukraine. Channel One decided not to broadcast the contest, following the decision of the Ukrainian Security Services to ban their singer Yulia Samoilova from Ukraine for a period of three years. Yulia Samoilova had entered Crimea through a non-Ukrainian border post in 2015 and as a result broke Ukrainian law.

Source: TASS