Russia’s Eurovision entrant from 1995, who was later involved with various other Eurovision entries from Ukraine and Russia, has been banned from entering and performing in Lithuania for a period of five years.
Lithuania’s Migration Department, acting on the request from the Foreign Ministry, has blacklisted Philipp Kirkorov, thus banning him from entering the country for a period of five years. This was done due to his performances in Crimea, which they saw as “support of Russia’s illegal annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine”.
Agne Bilotaite, Minister of Internal Affairs stated:
Performers publicly justifying Crimea’s occupation should not be tolerated in any democratic country. We have an unambiguous stance as regards such public figures, hence there were no doubts about adding Kirkorov to the blacklist of people unwelcome in Lithuania.
Foreign Minister Mr. Gabrielius Landsbergis added:
Mr. Kirkorov deliberately denied the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and thus indirectly justified the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation. We will systematically assess all the figures that Russia seeks to exploit to further its foreign policy and influence Lithuanian people.
Kirkorov was set to have concerts in Lithuania in June this year, which have all now been cancelled, as the five year ban of entering Lithuania is already in force.
Philipp Kirkorov represented Russia in Eurovision 1995 with “Kolbelnaya dlya vulkana” and finished in 17th place.