Ukraine has banned a Russian singer from entering the country to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest. Russian singer and composer Yuliya Samoilova has been barred from entering the country for the next three years, over a past performance in Russian-annexed Crimea. “The Security Service of Ukraine has banned Yuliya Samoilova from entry for three years,” Ukrainian security services (SBU) said on Wednesday. SBU spokeswoman Olena Gitlanska said on her Facebook page that the service has banned Samoylova “on the basis of information received about her violation of Ukrainian law”.
The Security Service of Ukraine has banned Yuliya Samoilova from entry for three years
Ukrainian security services (SBU)
According to Ukrainian law entering Crimea via Russia, without passing through the de-facto border, is illegal. The 27-year-old singer, who has been confined to a wheelchair since childhood, confirmed she did tour in Crimea in 2015. She also sang for the opening of Russia’s Paralympic Games in 2014. Earlier this month, Russia presented Samoilova as the country’s official choice for the contest, with the Russian Embassy in the US confirming she would be singing The Flame Is Burning. The Kremlin insisted it was not “politicising” the contest. The two neighbouring countries have been locked in a bitter feud since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014.