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Russia must leave Eurovision ’immediately,’ says MP

  • 2014-05-19
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Russia should withdraw from future Eurovision song contests and stage its own "straight" equivalent, according to Russian MPs.

Valerii Rishkin, a member of the Communist Party, condemned this year’s Austrian winner, the bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, as the “last straw,” Interfax reported.

Rishkin said Russia should instead host a talent competition entitled the “Voice of Eurasia” in the future. “The results of the latest Eurovision were the last straw,” he lamented, describing Wurst as an "insult to most of the Russian population, and any other country."

“We must leave this contest immediately; it is high time that we stop tolerating this madness. Each year Russia spends 40 million euros on this,” he moaned.

Rishkin added: “We have global events such as the Olympics; we can have our own contest. I think that all countries from the Eurasian space, as well as many others, will support us.”

Wurst, whose real name is Tom Neuwirth, was branded a “pervert” by Russian politician Vitaly Milonov after she sang her way to victory with the song “Rise Like a Phoenix” at the event.

And she has been accused by homophobic Russian protesters of creating a “hotbed of sodomy” at the 59th Eurovision song contest.

Olga Batalina, Russia's deputy head of the parliamentary committee on family, women and children, said the results of Eurovision were the product of “propaganda of untraditional culture, including gay culture.”

But Wurst withstood the criticism and said she hoped her triumph signaled hope for a “future that can function without discrimination and is based on tolerance and respect.”