In his interview with Lenta.ru, State Duma Deputy Ruslan Balbek called for restrictive measures against Ukraine after Kyiv’s decision to ban singer Yuliya Samoylova from entering the country. She was to represent Russia at Eurovision 2017.
“The incident involving Samoylova speaks to the need of reciprocal action against Kyiv. It is necessary to consider a number of sanctions against the Ukrainian state,” said the parliamentarian, stressing that the situation is “an insult to Russian pride.”
According to Balbek, authorities in Ukraine are trying to convince its citizens that Russia is weak. “In fact, because of our inaction, which, of course, is guided by principles of humanitarianism, we are witnessing with our own eyes the formation of a society that is convinced of Russia’s weakness, and this will inevitably lead to conflict,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, Russian press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin considered it unfair that Ukrainian authorities decided to ban Samoylova from entering the country. He said that Moscow hopes that Kyiv will reconsider the “absolutely unjust decision.”
The State Security of Ukraine banned Samoylova from entering the country on March 22nd. This measure was taken because the singer visited the Crimea after its annexation by Russia.
Eurovision 2017 will be held in Kyiv. The semifinals will be on May 9th and 11th, and the final will take place on May 13th.