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'I'm a musician, not a tool': Ukraine drops Eurovision entrant after accusing her of politicising contest

Anna Korsun won Ukraine’s national Eurovision finals on Saturday.

Anna Korsun (centre), who performs under the name of Maruv, was dropped by the Ukranian broadcaster on Monday night
Anna Korsun (centre), who performs under the name of Maruv, was dropped by the Ukranian broadcaster on Monday night
Image: AP/PA Images

UKRAINE HAS DROPPED a singer who won a competition to perform on its behalf at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest over claims she was politicising the competition.

Anna Korsun, who performs as Maruv, was dropped by the country’s public broadcaster UA PBC last night following claims the 27 year-old could not agree terms.

The singer narrowly won Ukraine’s national finals on Saturday to perform at Eurovision 2019 in Israel in May.

Among UA PBC’s terms of victory was a ban on the winner of the competition from giving concerts in Russia, which annexed the Ukranian peninsula of Crimea in 2014.

However, this put Korsun on a collision course with the broadcaster, as she was scheduled to perform in Moscow in April.

After hours of talks on Monday, it was announced that Korsun had been dropped, as singer and broadcaster each accused one another of politicising the contest.

The UA PBC said Korsun would not agree to act as “a cultural ambassador of Ukraine” or as a “spokesperson for the opinion of Ukrainian society in the world”.

“The current situation surrounding the national selection this year has signs of politicisation,” it added in a statement.

Korsun took to Instagram in response, saying she had refused terms which required her to play a political role at Eurovision.

“I’m not ready to perform with slogans, turning my appearance at the contest into a promotion for our politicians,” she said.

“I’m a musician, not a tool in the political arena.”

The singer also claimed that the clause banning her from performing in Russia was not the “main point” of disagreement.

The broadcaster’s terms, she claimed, could force her “to dance at the birthday of some deputy prime minister”.

The terms prohibit any interviews without the broadcaster’s consent or any improvisation on stage, while giving her no financial backing, the singer added.

It is now unclear who will represent Ukraine at this year’s contest.

Korsun previously sparked controversy earlier this month, following the semi-final of Ukraine’s Eurovision heat, when she made comments on the Russian-backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

“Unfortunately, the national heat for Eurovision 2019 has already become part of Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine,” deputy prime minister Vyacheslav Kyrylenko wrote on Twitter.

“An artist who tours in the aggressor state, plans to do so in the future, and sees nothing unacceptable in this, cannot be a representative of Ukraine,” he added.

With reporting from AFP.

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