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Ukraine faces hefty fine after Russia Eurovision row

June 29, 2017

After Ukraine barred Russia's singer from the Eurovision song contest held in May in Kyiv, it now faces a "substantial fine" from to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). There were no details on the amount.

Ukraine Eurovision Song Contest 2017 logo
Image: picture-alliance/ZUMAPRESS/S. Glovny

Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC "failed to adequately fulfill its obligations with regards to co-operating with the EBU over the participation of  the Russian artist," the European Broadcasting Union announced in a statement on Thursday in Geneva.

Ukraine also created organizational delays and difficulties for the production of this year's Song Contest, the EBU said. "As a result of this, attention was drawn away from the competition and the brand reputation of the Eurovision Song Contest was endangered."

Delays, failure to cooperate

"Therefore the contest's steering committee ... has recommended that UA:PBC (Ukraine's state broadcaster) should receive a substantial fine, in line with the rules of the competition," the EBU said.

Yulia Samoilova
The wheelchair-bound Russian singer Yulia Samoilova was not allowed to enter Ukraine Image: picture alliance/dpa/M. Antipina

Russia's decision to boycott the event and Ukraine's barring of Russian contender Yulia Olegovna Samoilova because she had performed in Russia-annexed Crimean peninsula made headlines in the run-up to the competition in Kyiv last month.

There were no details on how much Ukraine would have to pay, but UA:PBC director Zurab Alasania reportedly said the fine was 200,000 euros ($228,100). He also said the broadcaster would appeal the decision. Alasania reportedly said on Facebook that financial demands could ruin the country's state broadcaster.

Last week, UA:PBC said authorities in Geneva had frozen 15 million euros given by Kyiv to the EBU as a guarantee for the successful hosting of the song contest.

db/eg (AFP, Reuters, dpa)