Here's why Russia says it won't broadcast Eurovision Song Contest

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which produces the competition, had apparently told Channel One that it had been unable to resolve the dispute.

Russian Federation won Eurovision in 2008 with Dima Bilan's Believe. This number has been exceeded only twice in the history of the contest - in 2008 and in 2011.

The 2018 venue will be determined by the nationality of this year's victor.

Kiev will host the final of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 13. These included Samoylova performing via satellite or for electing another contestant altogether - both options were turned down. Channel One considers both those solutions to be "unacceptable".

Yulia Samoylova is a 28-year-old singer from Ukhta, in the northern Komi Republic of Russian Federation.

Samoilova, who is confined to a wheelchair due to spinal muscular atrophy, had meant to compete in the semi-finals with her song Flame Is Burning in a month's time. She performed at the opening ceremony to the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics. Ukraine said she violated the law by not entering via the peninsula's border with the mainland.

She was due to perform the song Flame is Burning.

Tensions between the two countries were already high after Ukraine's 2016 contestant, Jamala, took home the top prize with a song alluding to the mass deportations that occurred under Joseph Stalin. The mainly Sunni Muslim group now only make up around 12 percent of the Crimean population.

Russian Federation and Ukraine have been in dispute since the annexation of Crimea and the fighting in east Ukraine.

Organisers had threatened to ban Ukraine from future competitions unless it allowed Samoilova into the country to participate. It is the first time the host state has banned another state's entrant and the controversy over Samilova brought with it condemnation from many within Eurovision who accused Ukraine of over-politicising the contest.

In 2009, the EBU blocked Georgia's entry over their song We Don't Wanna Put In.

  • Ernesto Newman