Ukraine imposed three-year ban on Yuliya Samoilova over illegally entering Moscow-annexed Crimea to perform in 2015
The organisers of the Eurovision song contest have threatened to ban Ukraine from future competitions unless it allows Russias entrant to enter the country and take part in this years show which Kiev is hosting.
Last week Ukraine imposed a three-year ban on Russian singer Yuliya Samoilova, 27, over illegally entering Moscow-annexed Crimea to perform at a concert in 2015.
The head of the European Broadcasting Union, Ingrid Deltenre, in a latter sent to Ukraines prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman, said the ban on the Russian singer taking part in next months Eurovision was unacceptable.
As a consequence, Ukraines public broadcaster UAPBC might be excluded from future events, Deltenre warned the prime minister.
Eurovisions press office has confirmed the letters authenticity to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
If Kievs ban against Samoilova is not lifted it would certainly have a very big negative impact on Ukraines international reputation as a modern, democratic European nation, said Deltenre.
We are increasingly frustrated, in fact angry, that this years competition is being used as a tool in the ongoing confrontation between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, she added.
Russias Channel One on Thursday refused the offer by Eurovision to have Samoilova participating the competition remotely. We find the offer of remote participation odd and refuse it, for it is going absolutely against the very essence of the event, the official Russian broadcaster said after Eurovision suggested she could participate via satellite.
The singer has been in a wheelchair since a bad reaction to a vaccine in childhood, according to the biography on her website.
Moscow and Kiev have been at political loggerheads since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and over Russias subsequent involvement in a conflict pitting Ukraine troops against pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country. Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since the start of a pro-Russian insurgency, which Kiev and the west accuse Moscow of masterminding.
The Eurovision song contest will be held in Kiev on 13 May.
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