Kiev, Ukraine is set to host the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, according to a statement from local officials that was published on Friday. The capital of the country was picked over Odessa during a long and complicated process. This will mark the 62nd edition of the popular annual event.
The announcement is creating a lot of political drama, and the Ukrainian government has already announced that it will seek to bar some Russian singers from taking part in the competition. The two countries have been at odds in recent years after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
The ban will apply to contestants, who push separatist and pro-Russian views. Ukrainian security officials will be the one making that determination. Culture Minister Yevhen Nyshchuk shared:
“In Russia there are in fact many decent artists who understand that peace is the most important thing, that one shouldn’t speak a language of aggression, humiliate any nation, particularly neighboring ones, that one should speak only a professional language of songs and music.”
Most Ukrainians back this position and do not want to see Russian political display during the Eurovision. Ukrainian singer Jamala won the competition in 2016 with the song “1944,” which according to some critics addressed the annexation of Crimea by Russia.*Sponsored Links*