This year Russia withdrew from the ESC in Kiev after the ban of entry in Ukraine of her representative Yulia Samoylova. After their withdrawal, Russia was the first country that confirmed the participation in ESC 2018 in Portugal and have already announced that Yulia Samoylova will fly the Russian flag. But, last Friday,  Philip Kirkorov announced that Russia is ready to be back in the contest and they are already searching for the artist that will succeed Sergey Lazarev which means that Yulia’s participation in the contest is on air. 

Yulia was chosen internally by the Russian channel 1 to represent Russia this year in the 62th Eurovision Song Contest. Yulia was not allowed to enter in Ukraine after a 3 year ban, due to a concert that she gave in 2015 in Crimea. EBU also failed to find a compromise solution between Russia and Ukraine; Russia withdrew and announced that Yulia will represent them in 2018.

Last Friday at MUZ TV Music Awards Philip Kirkorov, although he confirmed the return of his country at the conest in Portugal, he set the participation of Yulia on air. He stated that Russia is in search of their representative.

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Russia has 2 broadcasters that are envolved in the Eurovision participation of the country, Channel1 and RTR. On year is in charge channel1 and the next year RTR. 2017 was channel’s 1 turn but after their withdrawal they will be in charge again in 2018. Philip Kirkorov cooperates with RTR every year that the broadcaster is in charge. The only possible way that  Yulia Samoylova will be ignored is the possible elimination of Channel1 from the contest as a penalty of the Reference Group of Eurovision after today’s meeting. Should this happen, RTR will be in charge for ESC 2018 and Philip Kirkorov will be envoled in the whole process as it happens every time with RTR.

Yulia Samoylova from Yerevan , Armenia after her appearance at Miss CIS 2017 , stated that she is getting prepared for her participation in Eurovision 2018 in order to represent Russia in Portugal.

So the decision of the Reference Group seems to be critical, whether Yulia Samoylova will take part in the next Eurovision or not.