The Russian artist Yulia Samoilova who was chosen to represent the nation at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest has been forbidden from entering the Ukraine to compete when the Contest takes place in Kiev in May. Yulia had been chosen by the Russian broadcaster earlier this month through an internal selection process and was to sing her song ‘Flame is Burning’ in the semi final in May. However following reports that she had visited the Crimea region following its annexation by Russia to perform, Ukrainian security forces SBU opened an investigation. SBU found her to be in breach of the Ukrainian law which forbids the entry to Ukraine of any person who has visited the Crimea since Russia’s annexation.
As it stands she will be unable to compete in Eurovision 2017. However the EBU have been attempting to find a solution to this is by offering to allow Yulia to compete via a satellite video link. In a video statement earlier today, Jon Ola Sand President of the EBU said:
If this is not a viable option, it is unclear if Russia will replace Yulia, but official sources have announced that Yulia will represent Russia in 2018, regardless of the host nation. Russia have also threatened that no Russian broadcaster will show the Contest in 2017 as a result of this decision.
Further to this, fresh claims that Armenian representative Artsvik, may also have performed in the Crimea and is also subject to an ongoing SBU investigation.
What do you make of the banning of the Russian artist? Should she in the spirit of the Contest be allowed to perform regardless or should she be punished on political grounds?