The Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand, has reiterated that he expects to see Russia competing next year.
In an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest has given his first public comments on Russia’s removal from the contest since the official EBU press release. In the interview Mr Sand explains that:
The Russian broadcaster are very sorry for this and has apologised for what happened. We have not received any reaction from the Russian authorities.This has not been a very big issue in the Russian media.
Channel One the Russian broadcaster in charge of participation this year, took the decision on April 13 to not broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. As a result the broadcaster was removed from the contest by the EBU as the rules state that all participating broadcasters must broadcast the contest live.
Mr Jon Ola Sand went to explain that the European Broadcasting Union is continuing to talk to the Russian broadcasters and is sure that they will return next year,
We are therefore in a straightforward dialogue with the Russians, and I’m sure they are competing again next year.
Why is Russia not competing in Eurovision 2017?
Yulia Samoilova the singer selected to represent Russia at this years contest was banned from entering Ukraine for a period of three years by the Ukrainian Security Service in March. 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 not meet broadcast rules in the country.
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 were 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.
On April 13 the Russian broadcaster Channel One announced that it would not broadcast the contest in Kyiv, Ukraine. As a result the European Broadcasting Union removed Russia from the contest for breaching rules regarding live broadcast of the show.