Russia’s foreign minister has weighed into the bizarre Eurovision twist in which Azerbaijan has launched an inquiry as to why the country failed to award any points to Russia during Saturday’s finale.
Yesterday Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyey, announced an inquiry would be launched into the vote that took place on Saturday evening due to concerns about voting violations.
Azerbaijan’s state broadcaster claims that Russia should have received ten points on Saturday evening but the country was given no points at all. The alleged points would have made no difference to the results of the competition or Russia’s final position.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Layrov, has described the alleged voting violations as “outrageous”. Mr. Layroy was speaking at a joint press conference with his Azerbaijani counter-part Elmar Mammadyaroy. The Russian minister said that the two countries would take a “unified course of action” once the reason for the discrepancy became clear.
Azerbaijan claims that the results of the public vote should have given Russia 10 points but as voting is made up by national juries as well it is unclear whether that is totally the case. The European Broadcasting Union, which runs the competition, has pointed out the public votes only make up 50% of the points which national juries contributing the rest.
Meanwhile Belarus has weighed in with its own accusations regarding voting at Eurovision. The country’s president Alexander Lukashenko claims the results from Russia regarding points for Belarus were falsified. Countries such as Belarus and Azerbaijan usually have good relations with Russia but in recent years strains have appeared mostly due to energy supplies.
Azerbaijan hosted the Eurovision Song Contest last year in its capital Baku. The hosting of the competition caused a minor diplomatic spat with its neighbour Iran who accused Azerbaijan of supporting gay rights by holding Eurovision.
This year’s competition was held in Malmo, Sweden and was won by Emmelie de Forest for Denmark with the song Only Teardrops scoring 281 points.