Georgia has pulled out of the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow after organisers banned its song for having a go at Vladimir Putin.
The group, Stefane and 3G has never hidden the fact that the lyrics allude to the Russian Prime Minister. But after the war between Georgia and Russia last August, organisers said the song was political, and so broke the rules. The top producer at Georgia’s state broadcaster George Chanturia said: “The Georgian public broadcaster does not think that we have to change the lyrics in any form, and so despite our respect for the contest, we won’t go to Moscow.” Eurovision organisers say Georgia can still compete if they change the lyrics of “We Don’t Wanna Put In” or even the song altogether. This student in Tbilisi said: “I don;t think it would be right to change the words. We must use the stage to react to the Russian provocation. So I don’t want the lyrics changed. This is how we can express our feelings on the Eurovision stage.” There is more than a discordant note being struck by the entry for Russia itself. TV viewers and judges chose Anastasia Prikhodko, who is Ukrainian, whose song “Mama” includes both Russian and Ukrainian lyrics – written, incidentally, by a Georgian. The Russian singer Valeria, who was runner-up, is said to be threatening legal action.