The dispute between Russia and Ukraine over the participation of the Russian singer at the Eurovision Song Contest was the last example of the "political posturing" that characterized this contest. This is written by The Guardian.
Ben Royston, who previously ran the Eurovision news site and was part of several juries, said that "politics has always been synonymous with Eurovision, and this last posturing was simply part of a long tradition."
Royston noted that many countries view Eurovision as a platform for promoting their national identity and culture and as a way to prove themselves as a modern political state.
"Over the six decades of the competition there have been peace, war and the fall of the Berlin Wall – but this year politics has gripped Eurovision in a more brazen fashion than ever," the newspaper writes.
The apogee of the dispute was reached when the Russian First Channel, which is the brodcaster of the contest, refused to broadcast it in protest against the fact that the contestant from Russia Yulia Samoilova was banned from entering the territory of Ukraine.
The publication notes that it is the first time the host state has banned another state’s entrant, and many within Eurovision accused Ukraine of politicising the contest.
However, others see the decision to put forward Samoilova as an equally political move on the part of Russia, forcing Ukraine to choose between upholding its laws and appeasing Eurovision. Russia had initially promised not to choose a contentious entry in the interests of peace and it was only on the night of the deadline that it finally put forward Samoilova.