Well I think the thing about the Eurovision song contest is, every country has one singer right or at least one group. And the thing about Russia’s relationship with its periphery is that it’s very clear in its identity that it is the big country with sort of little bits around it, size is important. So, the parity of Eurovision song contest where Ukraine can win or little Estonia can win or Azerbaijan can win, I think that’s a bit irritating. But it’s also as we know, overladen with politics. My partner always used to joke she’d say “Oh Bridget you know you like to come and watch
Eurovision Song Contest because you’re just fascinated by the
diplomatic story that’s going on.” Oh how interesting that Slovakia is supporting Ukraine, or whatever it might be. It is actually a kind of soft power, we all know how they vote in blocks. For the Russians nowadays, their position turning westwards is you know it’s uncomfortable I mean. I haven’t gone into that but I think a lot of Russians would say as Mr. Putin did in the early 2000s, that we feel European, we’ve just got this row with NATO or European Union but we should we should
be part of European culture. You do now find some people, I did a fascinating interview with one film director who said “Oh no we’re not really European, we’ve always been Asian.” I said what about Tolstoy? He said “Oh no that was a 200 year aberration, that was started with Peter the Great.” You can invent any narrative but I think that, They kind of want to be part of Europe and loved, and if they’re not loved in the Eurovision Song Contest because all these small republics, many of whom have reason to feel antagonistic towards Russia vote against them, then that’s annoying. So it is quite political.