Eurovision offers Russia remote performance in Ukraine show

GENEVA (AP) — Organizers of the Eurovision song contest say they’re taking the unprecedented step of offering to let Russia’s contestant perform via satellite after authorities in host Ukraine banned her from entering the country.

The European Broadcasting Union says it is offering to Russia’s Channel One that Yulia Samoylova can perform live from Russia in the intensely popular TV show known for pop music and tacky outfits.

Eurovision executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand said Thursday that show organizers are holding discussions with Ukrainian authorities, saying “it is imperative that the Eurovision Song Contest remains free from politics.”

Samoylova, who was to represent Russia in the May 11-13 contest in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, was banned by Ukraine’s security service because she had toured in Crimea after Russia’s 2014 annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine.

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