As expected, host-country Ukraine announced earlier today, 22 March, that Russian entrant, Yulia Samoylova is banned from entering the country for three years following her 2015 visit to annexed Crimea, violating local legislation. This obviously means, she won't be able to participate at the upcoming 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kiyv, this coming May.
Samoylova admitted she participated in a 2015 concert in Crimea to promote sport, just a year after the peninsula was annexed by Russia.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), following this news, has released the following statement: "It has been confirmed to the EBU that the Ukrainian authorities have issued a travel ban on the Russian artist chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest, Julia Samoylova, as she has been judged to have contravened Ukrainian law by entering Crimea in order to perform. We have to respect the local laws of the host country, however we are deeply disappointed in this decision as we feel it goes against both the spirit of the Contest, and the notion of inclusive that lies at the heart of its values. We will continue a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the aim of ensuring that all artists can perform at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv in May.".
Later on, the EBU suggested Julia would remain in Russia and perform via satellite, a much welcome compromise which unfortunately was rejected by both parties.
We remain hopeful this situation is quickly resolved where all countries are allowed to participate and perform while respecting host country's law.