Kiev, Ukraine. If the government of Petro Poroshenko did not have a big enough problem from the insane policy of banning handicapped visitors to Crimea from competition in Euovision, now journalists who have set foot in Donbass or Crimea are the targets of Kiev’s version of who can’t cover Eurovision 2017.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine will not let Russian journalists accredited to attend the Eurovision Song Contest enter the country if they are found to have visited the Crimea or Donbass, stated the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, on his Facebook page.
“No Russian journalists who are covering the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev who has previously violated the state border of Ukraine by illegally visiting the Ukrainian Crimea or Donbass will be admitted into the country,” he wrote, commenting on the refusal to allow a photographer from Russian Today, Ramil Sitdikov, to enter Ukraine.
Recently the head of Russia Today’s visual editorial staff, Alexander Shtol, stated that the journalist was turned away from Kiev. “In about an hour, the decision was made to refuse his entry. His accreditation was received in accordance with the required process by the Kiev regime,” Shtol stated.
Russian singer Lolita Milyavskaya was removed from a train and returned to Russia on April 23rd. The artist stated that she was not eligible to enter Ukraine due to her “visiting Kerch in 2015.”
The conflict over the Eurovision Song Contest arose after Ukrainian authorities banned the entry of the Russian participant in the contest, Yuliya Samoylova, into the country, accusing her of illegally visiting the Crimea.
The organizers of the contest tried to exert pressure on Kiev, but this did not lead to any change in the decision. The head of the competition, Frank-Dieter Freiling, promised that sanctions would be imposed not only on Ukraine, but on Russia as well, since after the refusal to admit Samoylova into the country, Russian Channel One decided not to broadcast the competition.
The question of sanctions will be decided at a meeting of the organizing committee of Eurovision on June 12th. The possible options provided by the rules of the European Broadcasting Union, include fines, loss of sponsorship, and suspension from participation in the competition for up to three years.