Ukraine and Russia could be banned from Eurovision for three years

Ukraine and Russia can be excluded from participating in the Eurovision Song Contest for three years for violating the rules of the contest. This was stated by the Chairman of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group and the event’s steering committee, Frank-Dieter Freiling in the commentary for the German ZDF.

According to him, Ukraine violated the rules of the contest by not allowing a participant from Russia, Yuliya Samoylova into the country. "From the Ukrainian point of view, the legal situation is clear, but from the point of view of the European Broadcasting Union, this is a violation of the statute," Interfax-Ukraine quotes Freiling as saying.

Russia has violated the statute as well by ignoring the meeting on the preparations for the contest in Kyiv, he said. "The Russians also violated the statues] because they did not take part in various preliminary meetings in Kyiv that were mandatory ... Will there be sanctions against Ukraine and Russia? Yes, there must be, because there is a violation of the statute," Freiling said.

Sanctions of the European Broadcasting Council will be considered after the end of Eurovision 2017, and the verdict is expected to be delivered on June 12. The appropriate sanction would be a ban on participating from 2018 to 2020, a fine or withdrawal of sponsorship shares.

Russia had decided to send Yuliya Samoylova to the Eurovision contest, who gave a concert in the city of Kerch in annexed Crimea in 2015 in violation of Ukrainian legislation. Because of this concert, Samoylova was banned from entering the territory of Ukraine.

Russia was asked to replace the contestant or organize a performance by Samoylova via a telebridge, but it refused. Russian Channel One also decided not to broadcast Kyiv's Eurovision.

  Ukraine, Russia, Eurovision