The EBU has released a final statement about the participation of Russia to the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, saying that they will withdraw this year. Russia had the opportunity to participate via satellite or to change their representative, since Julia Samoylova is banned from Ukraine. But Russia rejected both of these opportunities and decided to withdraw from this year’s competition.

I think this was the best decision. I believe that Russia entering this year, in any way, would have caused a lot of problems. And for that, it wouldn’t only be Russia to blame. I think the Ukrainian authorities already had the idea to cause a problem with Russia the moment they won last year. For me, it wasn’t a suprise that we had all these troubles with the two countries. I think that if Russia would have entered, in the normal way, there would have been so much commotion in Ukraine about it. And the satellite thing was just a bad idea, not only because it would have ruined the concept of countries coming together but also because it would have put Russia in the picture again. So I’m quite pleased to hear that they won’t be entering this year. I think Russia is a great country to watch in Eurovision, they always bring something clever, wheter I like it or not. So I hope that they come back next year, without any trouble.