Ukraine has been added to the list of competing countries in Junior Eurovision 2018.
The addition of Ukraine takes the total number of competing countries for the contest, to be held in November in Minsk, to 20, the largest number of entrants ever.
The Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC made an announcement on the issue this morning. Despite underfunding, the Ukrainian public broadcaster decided that it had a “duty to make every effort not to deprive Ukraine of Junior Eurovision.” A national final will be in an online format in order to save on production costs.
The statement notes that there is considerable expenses involved in entering the contest, including a mandatory fee to the EBU. Even with saving money through dropping the televised national final, there are “no funds to ensure the participation of the Ukrainian delegation at the international stage of the competition.”
In order to participate in the contest, the Ukrainian broadcaster is therefore relying on the Ukrainian government supplementing funds in accordance with the law “On Public Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine.”
The news of Ukraine’s participation has been confirmed by the EBU. Since 2006, Ukraine have appeared in the contest 12 times, winning in 2012 with Nebo by Anastasiya Petryk.
The other 19 participating countries are as follows:
- FYR Macedonia
- The Netherlands
Wales and Kazakhstan will make their debut in 2018. Azerbaijan and Israel return to the contest after a short break of a few years, with France also returning after their debut and only entry in 2004.
Belarus’ public broadcaster BTRC (Belarusian Television and Radio Company) will host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018, which will take place at the Minsk Arena on Sunday 25 November, the second time the contest has been held at the 15,000 seat stadium in the Belarusian capital.