Armenia fined for Eurovision pull-out

Armenia fined for Eurovision pull-out

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Armenia fined for Eurovision pull-out

Armenian band Dorians was meant to represent the state at Eurovision 2012 in Baku.

The European Broadcasting Union has ordered Armenia to pay its entire participation fee, as well as a fine of 50 per cent, after the country pulled out of the Eurovision song contest in Azerbaijani capital Baku after the deadline for quitting had passed.

In addition, Armenia’s public television will be obliged to broadcast the contest’s final live on the Eurovision night. If it does not comply with these measures, the country may be forced to skip Eurovision 2013.

Armenia’s decision to boycott the contest was made after a 20-year-old Armenian soldier was shot dead on the border between the states. Initial reports suggested he was killed by an Azerbaijani sniper, although Baku insists the cause was friendly fire.

Following the soldier’s death, Armenian celebrities called on the country’s public television to boycott the competition, claiming Armenian performers would not be safe in Azerbaijan.

The two countries fought a war over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the 1990s. No peace deal has been signed since the 1994 ceasefire.

The boycott announcement was published on the official Eurovision website, saying that Armenia had decided not to participate in the song contest to be held between May 22-26.