entertainment

Ukraine drops Eurovision entry just days after public vote following row over Russia

Maruv's 'Siren Song' was selected for Eurovision by the Ukrainian public on Saturday (23 February).

2019-02-27

Ukraine's Eurovision entry has been dropped just days after her selection following a row over Russia.

Ukrainian singer Maruv won a public vote on Saturday (23 February) with her track 'Siren Song', but will no longer take part in the comption after refusing to sign a contract with Ukraine's national broadcaster which would have reportedly banned her from performing in neighbouring Russia.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain high almost five years after Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in 2014, while the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian government has killed over 10,000 people to date the BBC reports.

In a statement on Facebook, Maruv said she was a "musician" and "not a bat in the political arena", and that the contract she had been asked to sign amounted to "censorship".

"I am a citizen of Ukraine, I pay taxes and sincerely love Ukraine", the 27-year-old, real name is Anna Korsun, wrote.

"[I am] not ready to perform with slogans, turning your stay at the competition in the promo of our politicians."

In a statement, the state-funded Ukrainian broacaster UA:PBC said: "The performer representing Ukraine... also has commitments of becoming a cultural ambassador of Ukraine and delivering not only their music but also expressing the opinion of the Ukrainian society in the world.

"After the negotiations, UA:PBC and the singer Maruv have not found common ground in the mission of the representative of Ukraine at the international song contest."

In 2017, the then-Eurovision host Ukraine banned Russia's act from performing the competition after it emerged that she had 'illegally' performed in Crimea by entering through Russia rather than Ukraine.

UA:PBC says it will now start looking for another artist to represent Ukraine at Eurovision, which is set to take place in Israel in May.