After Yulia Samoilova was banned from competing in Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv, it was reported that she would be selected by the Russian broadcaster to participate in Eurovision 2018. However, the Russian singer has recently stated that she has not yet received confirmation that she will be travelling to Lisbon.
Speaking on a livestream to her fans, Yulia is reported to have said that the Russian delegation has not yet begun preparations for Lisbon:
Concerning the Eurovision song. No children, the song for Eurovision has not even been chosen yet. Well, they say that I will go. I hope that the end of the world will not come and everything will be fine … And we will go to Eurovision.
Earlier this year Yulia commented that she was focused on preparing for Eurovision 2018. This new report comes after earlier reports in July that Yulia was still awaiting confirmation. In July, a spokesperson told Life magazine that ““Yulia has never been to Portugal. Of course, she would like to go because the performance at the Eurovision Song Contest is the dream of her life.”
Yulia was internally selected in 2017 to represent Russia in Kyiv with the song Flame is Burning. However, she was banned from entering Ukraine for a period of three years after it was found that she travelled to Crimea in 2015 in breach of Ukrainian law.
Initially, the EBU suggested Yulia should be able to participate by video link from Moscow, an idea which was rejected by Channel One. The Executive Supervisor of the EBU, Jon Ola Sand, later proposed that the ban be enforced only after the conclusion of Eurovision 2017. Russia was ultimately removed from the contest on 13th April 2017 after it was announced that Channel One would not broadcast the contest.
UA:PBC, the Ukrainian broadcaster responsible for Eurovision 2017 was subject to a substantial fine by the EBU as a result of the 2017 Russian controversy. An ongoing legal dispute is expected to be resolved in court tomorrow (30th October) regarding return of a 15 Million Euro Guarantee relating to the hosting of Eurovision 2017 which was frozen by the EBU in a bank account in Geneva.
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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. On their last two appearances, Russia has finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the final.