A Russian singer who was barred from entering Ukraine will be allowed to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev via satellite, competition organisers said Thursday.
Ukraine's security service on Wednesday imposed a three-year entry ban on Russia's participant Yuliya Samoilova for illegally entering Moscow-annexed Crimea to perform in a 2015 gala concert.
The Geneva-based European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the hugely popular contest, had criticised Kiev's decision to exclude Samoilova and voiced hope it would be overturned.
"Taking into consideration that this ban might be upheld by the Ukrainian authorities and in order to maintain the non-political nature of the Eurovision Song Contest, the EBU has been working hard to find a solution to this situation," the body said Thursday.
EBU has "taken the unprecedented move to offer Channel One Russia the opportunity for Julia to still participate in this year's contest by performing live in the second Semi-Final via satellite", it added in a statement.
"Should the Russian entry qualify for the Grand Final the same solution would apply... this is something that has never been done before in the contest's 60 year history."
The unprecedented move was necessary, it said, to keep with "the spirit of Eurovision's values of inclusivity", EBU said, vowing "to ensure that all 43 are given the opportunity to participate."
Russia on Thursday said it hoped Kiev would reconsider its decision.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, quoted by Interfax news agency, said the move is "on the conscience of the organisers" in Ukraine.