Broadcast union threatens Ukraine with Eurovision exclusion

It's in a reaction to Ukraine's ban on Russian entrant Julia Samoylova

Broadcast union threatens Ukraine with Eurovision exclusion

Yulia Samovloya was set to represent Russia in Kiev [Eurovision.tv]

The head of the European Broadcast Union (EBU) is threatening to temporarily exclude Ukraine from the Eurovision song contest, following its ban on Russia's entrant this year.

Speaking to German-language newspaper Sonntagsblick, the EBU’s Ingrid Deltrene said the behaviour of Ukrainian officials "is absolutely unacceptable".

Deltenre is currently overseeing negotiations with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Hrojsman and President Petro Poroshenko to reach a "satisfactory solution".

In the event that that doesn't happen, Blick reports that Deltenre could temporarily exclude Ukraine from the Eurovision entirely. 

Yulia Samoylova, the 27-year-old singer who was slated to represent Russia with Flame is Burning, has been denied entry to Ukraine for three years, ruling her out of the May 11th - 13th festival.

According to Ukrainian law, anyone who enters the disputed territory of Crimea, unilaterally annexed by Russia in 2014, by any other means than through the Ukrainian border may be banned from entering the country.

Jan-Ola-Sand (L-R), supervisor of the European Broadcasting Union, Ingrid Deltenre, director general of the European Broadcasting Union, and musician Bjorn Ulaveus of Abba pose as the Charlemagne Medal is awarded to the European Song Contest, in Aachen, Germany. Image: Henning Kaiser/DPA/PA Images

Not the first time ...

If talks fail, Ukraine won't be the first country to have been excluded from the contest. Gorgia were previously forced to withdraw in 2009, after the country went to war with Russia over the disputed regions of Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Singers Stefane & 3G won Georgia’s Eurovision selection, with their song We Don’t Wanna Put In. Controversy ensued as the song was seen to make reference to Russia’s prime minister Vladimir Putin. This argument was backed up by the fact that the group pronounced the lyrics “put in” as “poot een”.

The EBU ruled that the lyrics were not permissible under Eurovision rules and that Georgia must either amend them or send a new entry. Georgia refused and withdrew completely, attributing the EBU’s objections to pressure from Russia.

Russian entrants also regularly feel the wrath of Eurovision fanatics. In 2015, the country was booed every time it was awarded points by its peers.