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 Russia needed provocation rather than Eurovision, - Poroshenko

The Russian Federation was not willing to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kyiv.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said at a briefing during his official visit to Latvia, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN.

"Several options were put forward. They were coming from the organizers of the contest, starting from the participation of the respective contender via video broadcasting, ending with the replacement of the contender. As you know, Russia did not want to participate in Eurovision, it sought a provocation. I am glad the efficient actions of the Ukrainian authorities prevented this provocation," Poroshenko said.

Read more: EBU denies reports on sanctions against Ukraine over Samoylova's entry ban

He noted Ukraine clearly and consistently adheres to the non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea, stressing the peninsula can only be entered through the administrative border with Ukraine.

"Ukraine allows visits to Crimea only across the administrative border with the Kherson region. Acting otherwise is in violation of Ukraine's legislation, which entails sanctions," the Ukrainian president said.

"Russia knew that and made a deliberate decision, seeking a provocation. The Ukrainian authorities did not fall for this provocation. We act consistently as regards everyone who violates the Ukrainian legislation. That is why, the respective authorities did not allow [Samoylova] to cross the Ukrainian border," Poroshenko added.

Read more: Russia's Eurovision entry allowed to take part in contest

As previously reported, Yulia Samoylova was supposed to represent Russia at the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kyiv with the song Flame Is Burning. The singer is known to have given concerts in occupied Crimea.

The foreign minister of Ukraine said such a decision of the Russian Federation was yet another provocation. Russia, in turn, claimed it saw nothing provocative in picking Samoylova for the contest.

March 20, the Security Service of Ukraine issued an entry ban against the Russian singer.
 
 
 
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