Moscow, Russia. In a climate of growing tensions between Moscow and Kiev, Russia has decided to pass on Eurovision 2017, over Ukraine’s inhumane treatment of handicapped Russian musical artist Julia Samoylova. The parent company has stated it is close to removing the festival from Kiev’s supervision after the scandal.
Russia has said goodbye to Europe’s beloved song contest Eurovision, organizers say, amid growing tensions with neighboring Ukraine, this year’s host country. The annual Eurovision Song Contest features singers from the 43 countries that make up the European Broadcasting Union.
The first Eurovision contest was held in 1956, making it one of the longest running televised musical shows in the world. More than 200 million people worldwide watched the TV competition last year, Eurovision organizers said.
Ukraine banned Russian participant Julia Samoylova from traveling to Kiev, where the Eurovision 2017 competition will be held in May of 2017. Samoylova, is a Russian singer and composer, who jumped to fame after participating in numerous musical competitions in Russia. She performed at the opening ceremony in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Ukrainian government officials stepped into the destiny of the show with allegations the 27-year-old handicapped Samoylova illegally entered Crimea to perform in 2015, the Ukrainian SBU or State Secret Police said. Ukranian law requires visitors to enter and exit Crimea with a special government permission since 2015, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Both President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Groysman have been rigid in their hate, stating no exceptions for the wheelchair confined young woman can be made.
Due to the travel restrictions, organizers offered Russia some alternative options. They could take part in the competition via satellite or simply choose a different contestant who could legally travel to Ukraine.
Channel One, Russia’s TV network, rejected both options and announced they won’t broadcast this year’s Eurovision 2017 competition.
“We strongly condemn the Ukrainian authorities’ decision to impose a travel ban on Julia Samoylova as we believe it thoroughly undermines the integrity and non-political nature of the Eurovision Song Contest and its mission to bring all nations together in friendly competition,” Frank Dieter Freiling, chairman of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group said in a statement.