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Ukraine, Russia face suspension from Eurovision song contest

The European Broadcasting Union says both countries have violated the rules of the competition.

Ukraine, Russia face suspension from Eurovision song contest
Photo: Photo: inshe.tv

Ukraine and Russia can be suspended from participating in the Eurovision Song Contest for three years for violating the rules of the competition, the head of the steering committee of the European Broadcasting Union Frank-Dieter Freiling said in commentary to the German ZDF channel on Wednesday.

According to him, the Ukrainian side violated the rules of the contest by not allowing a Russian entry Yulia Samoilova.

"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 charter," Interfax-Ukraine quoted Freilings as saying.

Russia also violated the charter by ignoring the preparations for the contest in Kyiv, he said.

"The Russians have also violated, because they did not take part in various preliminary meetings in Kyiv, which were mandatory ... Will there be sanctions against Ukraine and Russia? Yes, there must be, because there is a violation of the statute," Freiling said.

The EBC will consider the sanctions after the end of Eurovision-2017 and announce the verdict on 12 June.

The sanctions may include a ban on participation in the competition from 2018 to 2020, a fine or the withdrawal of sponsorship shares.

Russia has decided to send to the Eurovision contest Yulia Samoilova, who in 2015, in violation of Ukrainian legislation, gave a concert in the occupied city of Kerch in Crimea and hence was banned from entering the territory of Ukraine.

Russia was asked to replace the contestant or organize a Samoilova's gig via Scype, but declined. Russian "First Channel" also decided not to broadcast Eurovision contests from Kyiv.