Ukraine vows to ban certain Russian singers from Eurovision

Ukraine will not allow Russian singers who have supported the pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine to perform at next year's Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, Ukraine's Culture Minister Yevhen Nyshchuk said Friday.

"If someone is under sanctions for violating the rights of the Ukrainian people, then there will be no compromises," Nyshchuk said in comments carried by state news agency Ukrinform.

The culture minister was replying to a question on whether Russian singer Iosif Kobzon, banned from Ukraine for his support of the rebels and Russia's annexation of Crimea, would be able to participate in the contest.

Russia has criticized Ukraine for bringing politics into the contest as this year's winning song, "1944" by Ukrainian singer Jamala, was about Soviet oppression of Crimean Tatars.

The contest's organizing committee decided in a landslide vote on Friday to have Ukraine's capital, Kiev, host the contest. Kiev received 19 votes versus two in favour of the port city of Odessa.

Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko, a former heavyweight boxing world champion, welcomed the decision.

"The capital is objectively the most prepared and capable of hosting this level of event. In addition to the experience that Kiev had hosting Eurovision in 2005, it also hosted the final of the Euro 2012 football championship," Klitschko said in comments on his website.

Last update: Fri, 09/09/2016 - 17:29
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