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Anna Korsun, who goes by her stage name Maruv, will not represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv this May, the official website of the contest announced on Monday.
The National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA:PBC) dropped Korsun after she refused to sign a contract with the national broadcaster because of stipulations reducing her ties to Russia and other restrictions, The Telegraph reports.
The Independent writes that several Ukrainian politicians have also said that Korsun should not be allowed to represent the country because of her Russian connections, while the Ukrainian Culture Ministry said that only “patriots who are aware of their responsibility” should be allowed to represent Ukraine.
According to RFE/RL, a sore point is apparently Maruv’s decision to tour Russia even after Moscow annexed Crimea and started funneling support to separatists in eastern Ukraine.
UA:PBC, in a statement, said that Ukraine’s representative in the contest “also has commitments of becoming a cultural ambassador of Ukraine and delivering not only their music but also expressing the opinion of the Ukrainian society in the world,” the BBC reports.
Although the 27-year-old singer was ready to drop her next tour of Russia, she said that other stipulations in the contract amounted to “censorship,” the BBC adds.
The Telegram reports that these stipulations include forbidding her from improvising on stage or talking to journalists without the permission of the broadcaster.
“I am a citizen of Ukraine, pay taxes, and sincerely love Ukraine. But I am not ready to come up with slogans and turn my participation in the contest into a promotional activity for our politicians. I am a musician, not a puppet for the political arena,” Maruv posted on her Facebook page, as cited by Reuters.
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