If you thought the days of Eurovision political voting were over, think again.
Since the annual singing competition on Saturday night, there’s been something of a diplomatic crisis going on between Azerbaijan and their neighbours Russia.
Traditionally the two countries have supported each other in the all-important vote, but this year, while Russia gave Azerbaijan the maximum 12 points, Azerbaijan’s voting public failed to award Russia any points at all – a turn of events which Russian’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has called “outrageous”, saying the action “will not remain without a response.”
Concerned by the apparent snub, the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has ordered an inquiry into the “nul points” in an attempt to find those missing votes.
Azerbaijan’s state broadcaster has since announced that viewers in fact awarded Russia 10 points via text message voting and the national jury gave them the full 12 points, adding that he hoped the debacle didn’t “cast a shadow over the brotherly relations of the Russian and Azerbaijani peoples.”
The truth behind where those missing points went remains unclear, but it seems everyone is keen to prove Azerbaijan liked the Russian entry after all and put the Eurovision faux pas behind them.
The extra points from Azerbaijan wouldn’t have affected Russia’s ranking in the competition, as they came in 17 points behind Norway. So really, we don’t know what Russia is complaining about. Their entry, Dina Garipova, finished a very respectable fifth. We only made it to a measly 19th – and you don’t see us ordering any inquiries, do you?