Armenian representative to Eurovision-2016 waves Nagorno-Karabakh flag on air, sparks controversy

16:40, 11 May 2016
World
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Iveta Mukuchyan from Armenia stirred up controversy during tonight’s semi final after she waved the Nagorno-Karabakh flag during the voting recap. When a Swedish journalist from national tabloid Aftonbladet asked her about it at the press conference, the Armenian representative explained that she “just wants peace on the borders,” according to wiwiblogs.org.

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Iveta said that she was expecting this question and asked not to forget that she is representing her country, heart, thoughts and with her feelings, her whole emotions. “Even though 150 million people are watching, my thoughts are with my motherland”, she said.

The region, disputed between Armenia and Azerbaijan is the cause of an open conflict between the two countries. The question was an important point in the press conference, and both Iveta and Samra were asked about it. About the flag, Iveta said that her country “wants peace” and that’s why she wrote her entry “LoveWave”. “I want to spread the LoveWave, I want people to concentrate on that”, she added.

The rules, published on the official website of the Stockholm Globe Arena concert hall, prohibit bringing flags of unrecognized states to the venue. The list of banned flags includes flags of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic, Northern Cyprus, Nagorno-Karabakh and Basque.

In addition, the organizers stressed that it was "strictly prohibited" to use the flag of the Islamic State.

The organizers say that official national flags of the 42 participating countries are preferred, as well as the flags of countries that have recently taken part (e.g. Turkey, Portugal, Romania), and the official national flags of other countries, which are members of the United Nations

According to earlier reports, one of Russia's jurors who took part in the voting in the first semifinals of the ESC-2016 was banned by the organizers due to the breach of rules. Anastasia Stotskaya, the juror in question, streamed via Peroscope application the moments from the voting before the official broadcast of the show. In a clip, she said that she would root for Armenia, as her husband is Armenian.

As UNIAN reported earlier, heavy fighting erupted on April 2 between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus.

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