Members of the Supervisory Board of Ukraine’s public broadcaster (UA:PBC) have appealed to the head of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and its director Ingrid Deltenre to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, refrain from turning the EBU into an instrument of external political manipulations, and not interfere in the normal process of carrying out the Eurovision song contest, both this year and the next one. The text of the appeal is published on
. Detektor Media
This appeal is an answer to the
letter by EBU director Ingrid Deltenre to Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman sent on 23 March, after Ukraine made the decision to deny entry to Russia’s contestant Yulia Samoilova after it was learnt that the musician performed at a concert in occupied Crimea, entering the territory by breaking Ukrainian law. It notifies Groysman that several Eurovision members are considering withdrawal, that Ukraine might be excluded from further Eurovision events, that Ukraine should find a solution to allow Samoilova to participate under the same conditions as the other 42 delegations, and that they were not aware of any information that Samoilova poses a security threat the Ukraine.
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The appeal of UA:PBC states that Ukraine is a member of the EBU for many years, an active and law-abiding member of the Eurovision song contest, and Ukrainians, as Eurovision participants, had always respected the laws and regulations of the host country.
It informs that Yulia Samoilova had violated Ukrainian sovereignty and law by visiting Crimea without the permission of the Ukrainian authorities, and states that no country other than Russia can contest this assessment since no other European country has recognized the occupation of Crimea.
As well, the UA:PBC is surprised that the EBU members express their frustration and anger that “that this year’s competition is being used as a tool in the ongoing confrontation between the Russian Federation and Ukraine” at Ukraine and not Russia, essentially siding with Russia in the political provocation that it staged.
“The requirement to revoke the decision of Security Service of Ukraine, resolved within the limits of its legal competence, as well as the idea that Security Service of Ukraine should consult with EBU prior to approving its decisions, might be qualified as an interference into Ukraine’s internal affairs that exceeds both the authority of EBU and the goals of the Eurovision Song Contest,” the UA:PBC writes.
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It is due to sharing the basic values of democratic Europe, public service, and public broadcasting that the UA:PBC can’t ignore the interests of Ukrainian society, nor distance itself from the Ukrainian state when it defends its territorial integrity, the appeal says, and accuses the EBU of being at odds with both democratic values and the EU’s position:
We perceive the threats to punish UA:PBC for the actions of Ukrainian state related to violation of its laws as contradicting both the basic democratic values and the position of EU and world community regarding the current Ukrainian-Russian confrontation.”
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The UA:PBC urges the EBU to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine, refrain from amplifying the political games of external actors and interfering with the smooth organization of the contest, and to avoid threats regarding the possible expulsion of Ukraine from the Eurovision Song Contest.
After Samoilova was denied entry to Ukraine, the (EBU) first responded by a
press statement in which it stated that while it respects the laws of the host country it is “ deeply disappointed in this decision as we feel it goes against both the spirit of the Contest and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values” and later offered Samoilova to participate via satellite, which the Russian side refused.
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letter to Ukraine’s Prime Minister Groysman was less diplomatic. Sent on 23 March, it notifies Groysman that several Eurovision members are considering withdrawal, that Ukraine might be excluded from further Eurovision events, that Ukraine should find a solution to allow Samoilova to participate under the same conditions as the other 42 delegations, and that they were not aware of any information that Samoilova poses a security threat the Ukraine.
Ukraine rejected the proposal. “
It is unprecedented and unacceptable to demand such extraordinary decisions from Ukraine for the sake of Russia,” Deputy Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kyrylenko said on 1 April.
Despite being banned from entering Ukraine, Samoilova continues preparations for the contest.
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