Russian singer, wheelchair-bound Julia Samoylova, has been banned from entering Ukraine, effectively banning the country from participating in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Ukraine’s state security service said the 27-year-old had violated Ukrainian law by visiting Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, and would not be allowed to enter the country for three years.
Samoylova visited Crimea since the peninsula was seized by Russia, which is illegal according to Ukrainian law unless it is done with Kiev’s permission.
Russian foreign ministry official Grigory Karasin called the decision “another outrageous, cynical and inhuman act by the Kiev authorities”.
In a statement the European Broadcasting Union said, “We have to respect the local laws of the host country, however we are deeply disappointed in this decision as we feel it goes against both the spirit of the Contest, and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values.
“We will continue a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the aim of ensuring that all artists can perform at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv in May.”
Source: The Sun