Russian President Vladimir Putin says he does not regret his country not participating in this years Eurovision Song Contest.
At a press conference in Beijing, China the Russian President was asked his views on the decision for his country not to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Vladimir Putin replied that he believed that the decision not to take part in Eurovision was correct and that he had no regrets about the country not travelling to Ukraine.
The President went on to say:
As for the Eurovision, those who wanted to see could do it on the Internet, and the fact that our structures involved in this process, refused to take part, I think that did the right thing
Yulia Samoilova who was selected to represent Russia in Ukraine 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. Russia was removed from competing in Eurovision 2017 on April 13, after Channel One announced they wouldn’t broadcast the contest.
Channel One and Russia-1 have stated that Yulia Samoilova will represent Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. The European Broadcasting Union will rule after this years contest as to whether Russia will be eligible to compete in next years contest.