European Union prolongs until September blacklist of Russians over Ukraine crisis

European Union prolongs until September blacklist of Russians over Ukraine crisis

Eurovision has always been a venue for political spats, but this year's song contest in Ukraine could see global tensions rise to new heights as the Russian entrant takes to the stage.

"The SBU will check and make a well-considered decision", SBU's spokesperson Olena Hytlianska said in her commentary to the Interfax-Ukraine agency on Monday.

Aider Muzhdabayev, deputy director of the Crimean Tatar television channel ATR, said Samoylova had violated Ukrainian law by entering Crimea and called her participation in Eurovision a "cynical and immoral move" by Moscow. "I can't exclude that actions could be taken by our side to deny her entry".

"We don't see anything provocative in this", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of the selection of Ms Samoilova (27).

This year's Eurovision Song Contest has already been plagued by a number of obstacles, such as funding challenges and mass resignations.

Her haunting rendition of the ballad 1944 was widely interpreted as a criticism of Russia's annexation of Crimea, and as she collected her trophy, she pleaded for "peace and love".

Yuliya Samoylova is due to represent Russian Federation in May at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine, performing the song Flame is Burning. Samoylova, who has used a wheelchair since childhood, was a finalist in Russia's X Factor in 2013 and sang at the opening of the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi. Ukraine has announced that no exceptions would be made for the competition.

Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine has soured relations between the European Union and Russian Federation.



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