Ukraine Fined Over Russia Dispute

Ukraine’s national public broadcaster UA:PBC will be fined after Russia’s candidate was denied entry into Ukraine to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.  

Eurovision Jamala
Maja Suslin / TT News Agency via AP
– Eurovision Jamala
Ukraine’s Jamala wins the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest final May 15 with a melancholic tune about the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars by Soviet authorities. 

Russia’s ESC candidate Yulia Samoylova was denied entry into Ukraine, because she had played a 2015 concert on the Crimean peninsula, the epicenter of a territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine, and had traveled through Russia instead of Ukraine to get there.

The Ukrainian public broadcaster’s director, Surab Alassanija, told Reuters the fine would be euro 200,000.

He added that, “formally, it wasn’t us who made the decision not to allow her, but I don’t think that the SBU (State Security Service) or the government will want to take part in this.”

Frank-Dieter Freiling, chairman of the ESC reference group, said in an interview that it was unusual that a government-run broadcaster was in charge of the event’s transmission.

“Usually we’re dealing with broadcasters not states,” he told Link:,freiling108.html The European Broadcasting Union released a statement saying that the political dispute between Ukraine and Russia drew attention “away from the competition and the brand reputation of the Eurovision Song Contest was endangered.”

“Therefore the contest’s steering committee (…) has recommended that UA:PBC should receive a substantial fine, in line with the rules of the competition.”