Russia has rejected an offer from the European Broadcasting Union for Julia Samoylova to compete in Eurovision via a satellite link.
“We find the offer of remote participation odd and refuse it, for it is going absolutely against the very essence of the event,” the official Russian broadcaster Channel One said.
It said in a statement that “one of the (contest) rules… reads that the song should be performed live on the stage.”
Julia Samoylovawas was banned from entering Ukraine for 3 years after visiting Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.
Earlier EBU Executive Supervivor Jon Ola Sand says: “We are continuing our dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the ambition to have all artists present to perform in host city, Kyiv, which is, of course, our preferred option.
“It is imperative that the Eurovision Song Contest remains free from politics and as such, due to the circumstances surrounding Julia’s travel ban, we have felt it important to propose a solution that transcends such issues.
“We have offered Channel One Russia the opportunity for Julia to perform live via satellite as it is the EBU’s intention that every broadcaster that has chosen to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest does so, as has been the case for all previous events in the contest’s history.”
But within hours Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, suggested on Twitter that any performance by Julia would not be broadcast, as it goes against Ukrainian law.
Russia’s Channel One claimed the rules also oblige Ukraine to provide all participants with entry visas, and that Kyiv’s entry ban had violated those rules.
“We believe that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) shouldn’t invent new rules for the Russian entrant in 2017 and is capable to hold the contest in accordance with its own order,” the channel said.
Political tensions remain high, with a former Russian member of parliament who defected to Ukraine who criticised Russian President Vladimir Putin being gunned down in Kyiv on Thursday, in an apparent contract killing.