EBU has revealed today the Ukrainian broadcaster and organiser of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 now faces a substantial fine as a consequence of barring the Russian entrant Yulia Samoilova from entering the country. This decision has been made by the contest’s steering committee following the rules of the competition.
“As a result of this, attention was drawn away from the competition and the brand reputation of the Eurovision Song Contest was endangered. Therefore the contest’s steering committee has recommended that UA:PBC (Ukraine’s state broadcaster) should receive a substantial fine, in line with the rules of the competition,” said the EBU, without saying how much Ukraine would have to pay.
Reports point UA:PBC Director Zurab Alasania to have revealed to Reuters that the fine is 200,000 euros ($228,100) with the broadcaster determined to appeal the decision.
“Formally, it wasn’t us who made the decision not to allow her (Russian singer Yulia Samoilova), but I don’t think that the SBU (State Security Service) or the government will want to take part in this,” Alasania told Reuters.
The main issue for the Ukrainian Security Service was Samoilova had performed in Crimea two years before, which was at that time more than a year ahead after Russia had annexed the peninsula. As a result, the singer was considered to be ineligible to enter Ukraine and compete in Eurovision after Government considered the singer had broken the law.
Problems began after Ukraine won the contest last year in Stockholm when media started sharing the controversial news of Russia’s possible withdrawal from this year’s edition in Kiev. Even though everything seemed to be address rightfully, the choice of Channel One turned the hopes grey for their participation when the details above were known. Several possible solutions were suggested to both broadcasters involved, but everything ended with Russia out of the 2018 competition after the impossibility of an agreement.