MOSCOW, April 14 Russia's state broadcaster has
said it will boycott this year's Eurovision song contest after
the host country, Ukraine, said it would bar entry to the
Russian contestant and Moscow rejected two possible compromises
suggested by organisers.
Ukraine said Russian singer Yulia Samoylova could not travel
to Kiev for the competition because she had performed in Crimea
after the region was annexed by Russia.
Moscow accused Ukraine of discriminating against Samoylova
and of breaching the contest's rules.
Russia's Channel One, the state broadcaster that transmits
the contest to large Russian audiences, said organisers had
offered the option of sending a different contestant or of
having Samoylova perform via video link from Moscow.
"In our view this represents discrimination against the
Russian entry, and of course our team will not under any
circumstances agree to such terms," said Yuri Aksyuta, the
station's chief producer for musical and entertainment
"Naturally, we are not taking part in the Eurovision 2017
competition under the terms that are being offered to us, and we
will not broadcast it either," he said.
"The absence of a Russian participant, in my view, is a very
serious blow to the reputation of the contest itself, and for
Russian viewers it is also another reason not to pay attention
to the contest."
(Reporting by Christian Lowe; Editing by Andrew Osborn)