The decision of Ukraine’s Security Service to ban Russian Eurovision contestant Yulia Samoilova from entering Ukraine was right, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said during his official visit to Latvia’s capital Riga on Tuesday.
“Ukraine allows visiting Crimea only through the administrative border of the Kherson region. The other way is a violation of Ukraine’s law what results in sanctions,” Poroshenko told reporters after a meeting with Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis.
According to Poroshenko, the Russian side had known about this, but took a decision to send Samoilova to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Ukraine regards this decision as “provocation,” he stressed.
On March 22, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) issued a three-year entry ban against Samoilova, citing her performance at a festival dubbed “A World of Sports and Kindness” held in Crimea on June 27, 2015. Ukraine’s authorities say that by performing in Crimea, Samoilova violated the Ukrainian government’s regulation dated June 4, 2015, which stipulates that foreign citizens should receive a special permission in order to enter Crimea.
Head of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Ingrid Deltenre warned in an official letter that sanctions could be imposed against Kiev over the SBU’s decision. The EBU should refrain from interfering in Kiev’s interior affairs and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, the Supervisory Board of Ukraine’s National Public Broadcasting Company said in a statement.
The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest semifinals will be held in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 9 and 11 while the Grand Final will take place on May 13.