Ukraine has dropped its Eurovision Song Contest 2019 entry, the singer Maruv, because she refused to sign a contract temporarily banning her from performing in Russia.
Maruv won a public vote on Saturday to represent her country at Eurovision with her track Siren Song, but has since fallen out with Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC.
She was reportedly given 24 hours to sign the aforementioned contract and, after talks stalled on Monday, the broadcaster revoked Maruv’s nomination.
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The decision comes amid continued political tensions between Ukraine and Russia following Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
When Ukraine hosted Eurovision in in 2017, the country banned Russia’s entry from performing at the event.
Maruv – real name Anna Korsun – said that while she was willing to cancel her next tour of Russia, other requirements in the contract amounted to “censorship”.
“I am a citizen of Ukraine, pay taxes and sincerely love Ukraine,” she wrote on Facebook.
“But I am not ready to address [people] with slogans, turning my participation in the contest into the promotion of our politicians. I am a musician, rather than a bat at the political stage.
“I sincerely thank and appreciate everyone who believed in me and voted. I ask you to accept this situation and not to take a confrontational path.”
In a statement, UA:PBC said that whoever represents Ukraine at Eurovision “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.”
It added that Eurovision rules demand that the state broadcaster “must ensure the non-political character of the contest” and that it foresaw “a danger of escalation of the split of the Ukrainian society” over Maruv’s selection.
UA:PBC said it will begin negotiations with another contestant to represent Ukraine.