genève/kiev - Ukraine is penalized by the organization behind the Eurovision Song Contest, the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), due to an event for this year's festival. Host country Ukraine blocked the arrival of Russian singer Joelia Samojlova, thus interfering with Russian participation in the festival this year.
A spokesman for a special commission at the EBU, David Goodman, said on Thursday that the refusal of Samojlova was a reason for sanctions. According to Goodman, the Board of Directors of the EBU has assumed this conclusion, and Kiev will probably impose a substantial fine.
Earlier this month, the Ukrainian state group in Geneva tried to recover a deposit that was paid for successfully organizing the Eurovision Song Contest. Ukraine held the festival in May and paid 15 million euros to the EBU.
Samojlova was not allowed to come because they had recently joined the Crimea. The peninsula was joined in the Soviet Union in Ukraine during the fifties. It was revived in Russia in 2014 during the conflicts between Kiev and Moscow.
The song festival in May was won by Portuguese singer Salvador Sobral. The Netherlands became eleventh.