The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organizer of the Eurovision song contest, has offered Russian participant Yulia Samoilova, banned from entering Ukraine, an opportunity to still take part in the contest this May by performing via satellite.
"We have offered [Russian television network] Channel One the opportunity for Yulia to perform live via satellite as it is the EBU’s intention that every broadcaster that has chosen to take part in the Eurovision song contest does so, as has been the case for all previous events in the contest's history," Jon Ola Sand, Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor, said in a statement sent to Billboard.
Samoilova's representatives and Channel One were not immediately available for comment.
On Wednesday, the wheelchair-bound Samoilova, 27, was banned by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) from entering the country for three years over her 2015 performance in Crimea, a peninsular region annexed by Russia from Ukraine three years ago.
Meanwhile, Frank-Dieter Freiling, the European Song Contest's Reference group chairman, said in a statement that he hopes the political leadership of Ukraine will not implement the travel ban and find a solution in line with the contest's slogan "Celebrate Diversity."
Russia was disappointed and angered by Ukraine's decision regarding Samoilova.
"Certainly, the Ukrainian side's decision substantially damages the upcoming contest and probably hurts the prestige of Eurovision," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti.
Meanwhile, Russian television networks won't air this year's contest unless the ban for Samoilova is reversed, Rossiya 1 television network reported.