Despite the fact that dozens of media dedicated hundreds of lines on Russia’s – Ukraine’s conflict coming from this year’s Eurovision results and the tension in political grounds,  Russia will participate in the next Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev.

The executive manager of Ukraine’s national broadcaster NTU, Zurab Alasania, confirmed today in his interview that Russia has declared its participation for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. All this came at a moment, where increasing rumors kept open Russia’s withdrawal from the next contest.  Zurab Alasania’s interview, however, at the local newspaper Зеркало недели put an end to all these rumors that started the very night Jamala won the contest in Stockholm.

In spite of the on-going explosive comments between the two ( Rus-Ukr) , the tension created by the political and military conflict in Crimea and the eastern part of Ukraine , the persona non grata lists of Russian citizens,  Russia is going to participate in the contest of 2017 and try to score a victory in the less friendly ground for the country, at least based on so far developments.

The general manager went a step further, referring to the famous Russian singer, composer and producer, Philipp Kirkorov, who has been behind all the Russian entries the latest years, by saying that he won’t face any problems entering the country, despite the fact that he has attended several concerts in Crimea supporting Russian occupation and annexation.

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One can find  the general manager’s  full interview here.

THE STORY SO FAR

Russia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 20 times since their debut in 1994 and has participated every year since 2000. Russia won the 2008 contest with Dima Bilan performing the song “Believe” and is one of the most successful countries in the contest.  Russia co-holds (with Sweden) the record for the most top five finishes in the 21st century; finishing second with Alsou in 2000, Dima Bilan in 2006, Buranovskiye Babushki in 2012 and Polina Gagarina in 2015; third with t.A.T.u. in 2003, Serebro in 2007 and Sergey Lazarev in 2016, and fifth with Dina Garipova in 2013, for a total of nine top five results.

In 2016 , Sergey Lazarev represented the country on the stage of Globen Arena with his song You are the only one , finishing after an agonizing voting presentation in the honorable 3rd place.