In a day of high drama for the European Broadcasting Union along with Ukraine and Russia it has finally been announced how the EBU have reacted and dealt with the debacle to the lead up to the Eurovision 2017. As reported earlier, Ukraine have been sanctioned, and now it is the turn of Russia. It has been officially announced that Russia have been reprimanded.
What Was The Issue Over:
The European Broadcasting Union were very unhappy with the fact the Ukraine struggled to keep to time and schedule, and were kept reliably uninformed. The host city was delayed by several months, then just 4 months until the Grand Final the core team in Ukraine resigned. There was also a delay with the venue, and it took a while before the hosts were announced. The EBU have felt at times that the contest may be delayed. The worst crisis came when Russia sent Julia Samoilova with the song, "Flame Is Burning". Ukraine declared that she was not allowed to participate as she was banned from the country, after entering Crimea through Russia and not Ukraine. The EBU proposed compromises which were blocked by Ukraine, and saw Russia withdraw, and fail to broadcast the competition. Many have seen this as using Eurovision as game of political chess, and not the music which it is supposed to be about.
What Have the EBU Said?
The EBU were not happy one bit over how the Eurovision drama unfolded, they felt their hands were tied, and felt powerless to intervene which brought politics into the competition. This is something the Broadcasting Union has always tried to prevent. They believe attention was more focussed on the political drama and not on the actual contest itself. Ukraine have been reportedly issued with a 200,000 Euro fine, with Russia been officially reprimanded. The head of the European Reference Group added the reprimand to Russia's Channel 1 was given, "for not attending the Heads of Delegation Meeting and failing to broadcast this years contest in Kyiv". The official statement given by the EBU said, "Reference group believes that the competition rules violations were committed due to the fact that the Russian singer was not allowed access to the competition in Ukraine".
How Has Russia Reacted?
No official statement has been given by Russia's Channel 1 yet, however they do not hold themselves accountable for the way In which the contest was handled in May. They have stated that nevertheless the country will Participate in 2018 with Julia Samoilova being their chosen representative.
What Next For Russia?
Just Like Ukraine there is a potential for both countries to be banned. However, as Russia has only been reprimanded and not fined. This option seems less likely. However, after viewing figures dropped a lot after Russia withdrew and did not broadcast, and the threat from smaller nations not to participate in 2018, will the EBU really want a smaller competition? However Dr Frank Dieter Freiling who is the head of the Reference Group has mentioned that he hopes to see both Ukraine and Russia both at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2018. "With the Eurovision Song Contest intended as a way of uniting audiences".
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