Russia has pulled out of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, it has been confirmed.
This year’s event will take place in Ukraine and last month, the country banned Russia’s hopeful, Julia Samoylova, over a visit she made to Crimea when it was annexed by Moscow in 2014.
Officials offered to make arrangements so that Julia could perform via satellite link, but this proposal has been rejected.
A statement from the European Broadcasting Union reads (via Digital Spy): “Following the official confirmation that Russian Eurovision entrant, Julia Samoylova, will not be permitted to travel to Kyiv to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, the EBU formally offered two alternative proposals to Channel One [Russia’s broadcaster] in a bid to find a solution that would enable Russia to continue their participation in this year’s event.
“These proposals were to either take part via satellite or to change their chosen artist to one who could legally travel to Ukraine for the duration of the Contest.
“Sadly both proposals have been rejected by Channel One and they have now announced they do not intend to broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.”
The annual contest takes place in Kyiv this May, and the UK will be represented by former ‘X Factor’ star Lucie Jones.
Lucie won the chance to represent the UK after winning a public vote.