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ARD’s Thomas Schreiber: ‘It’s a pity that Ukraine fell into the trap of Russian PR’

GERMANY – Germany’s ARD Entertainment Cordinator, Mr Thomas Schreiber commented the Russian withdrawal from the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest accusing (not entirely though) the Ukrainian side.

Thomas Schreiber Statement

It’s a pity that Ukraine fell into the trap of Russian PR. It’s a pity that the colorful world of Eurovision, which stands for tolerance, diversity of life styles and its joy, will not be seen in Russia this year. At the very least, the EBU has tried everything to allow the participation of 43 broadcasters that have registered, from Reykjavik to Melbourne. The Host Broadcaster Agreement with the Ukrainian broadcaster concluded in the summer of last year is the basis for the participation of ALL countries; It is the responsibility of the broadcaster to handle all the participants equally and fairly. The Ukrainian government has committed itself in a security guarantee to ensure the free movement and security of all delegations, including the Russian. On the one hand we can understand Ukrainian postiion, because the military conflict in the east of Ukraine is a big burden for the country and its inhabitants. On the other hand, according to the agreements concluded with the EBU, only the EBU can exclude broadcaster and artist from participation, if there are violent rules.

This situation must not be repeated. The idea of ​​the Eurovision – by means of a peaceful singing contest to bring the audience in the participating countries – is, in my view, as vital and necessary as in 1956. At that time – eleven years after the end of the Second World War, which had begun with the German invasion of Poland, with millions of deaths, with all the horrors and crimes, it was possible that Germans and the French appeared together on the same stage. In 1945 it was still unimaginable. Today the ESC stands for tolerance, for diversity in every respect, for colorful life. The fact that, for example, 2014 in Copenhagen, Russian fans gave a high score for Conchita in televoting was a signal, how colorful the ESC can be. We should preserve this and develop it further. However, first of all it is about the present Eurovision Song Contest: The team on site, the Ukrainian and foreign colleagues, must comply with the schedule and will produce three shows worldwide on the 9th, 11th and 13th May – the German version is also transmitted by the Deutsche Welle for the first time. After that, the EBU – that is, the broadcasters that are part of the EBU – must decide how to proceed. The agenda will not be passed” (translation: http://www.esckaz.com)

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