Natalya Franchuk, Head of the Eurovision 2016 national selection for Ukraine, told a news conference why a request to grant Crimeans voting rights was rejected.  

“Right after the first semi-finals, we received a letter requesting that Crimeans be allowed to vote too. So, we called an emergency meeting to discuss possible ways of accomplishing that. However, since people in Crimea have non-Ukrainian SIM-cards, it was impossible to do that.

Besides, we received a letter from the First National TV Channel which was in direct contact with the EBU. According to the letter, if a territory with an unrecognized status is allowed to vote, the voting results of Ukraine’s finals would likely to be declared void,” said Natalya Franchuk.

Whatever the case might be, Jamala really appreciated the support she received from the occupied peninsula.

“Actually, Crimeans gave me a lot of support. Though I know they could not vote and they knew about that. I know that people went to Kherson in their cars for the sole purpose of voting for me. But even the support they gave me, such as posting comments on Facebook and other social media, sending their regards via my relatives and buying SIM-cards  to vote for their relatives who could not make it to mainland Ukraine, matters a lot to me!”, said Jamala.

It was reported earlier that the Mejlis urged the Eurovision organizers to grant Crimeans voting rights.