Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012
|Eurovision Song Contest 2012|
|Selection process||Internal selection|
|Selection date(s)||18 March 2012 (tentative)|
|Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest|
Armenia's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 was originally confirmed on 17 January 2012 after Armenia's strained relations with the host country Azerbaijan kept an Armenian entry in doubt. Armenia was to select their entry through an internal selection, organised by the Armenian broadcaster Public Television of Armenia (ARMTV). However, on 7 March 2012, Armenia announced that they would be withdrawing from the contest.
Armenia had early doubts regarding special security guarantees for their potential representative and delegates, due to the Nagorno-Karabakh War previously between themselves and host nation Azerbaijan. On 17 January 2012, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) confirmed Armenia's participation in the contest.
On 30 January 2012, ARMTV announced that they planned to select their entry internally. The entry was to be presented on 18 March 2012, the final day in which the selection of songs for the 2012 Contest was permitted.
On 24 February, over twenty Armenian singers signed a petition asking ARMTV to withdraw from the contest. They cited the death of an Armenian soldier who was allegedly shot by an Azerbaijani sniper a few days earlier in the violated ceasefire as a reason for their "refusal to perform in the contest." However, later the Armenian Ministry of Defense announced that the Armenian soldier was killed by a fellow Armenian soldier, and not by Azerbaijani army. But despite that, the Armenian singers claimed that Armenia should not have participated this year and that they would have called for the boycott of Eurovision in Baku even if the Armenian soldier had not been killed.
ARMTV and the EBU announced on 7 March 2012 that Armenia would be withdrawing from the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. ARMTV said that it was no longer confident that the Azerbaijani authorities would carry out their promise to guarantee the security of the Armenian delegation after Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, in a speech given on 28 February 2012, had stated that Azerbaijan's "main enemies are Armenians of the world". They could not send participants to a country where they "will be greeted as an enemy", ARMTV explained.
The Contest Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand stated that EBU was "truly disappointed" with Armenia's withdrawal, and that "despite the efforts of the EBU and the Host Broadcaster to ensure a smooth participation for the Armenian delegation in this year's Contest, circumstances beyond our control lead to this unfortunate decision." The EBU fined the Armenian national broadcaster for the late withdrawal, charging it the regular participation fee plus an extra 50% of this amount. In addition, the Armenian state channel must broadcast all three shows of the competition live, with no interruptions.
Armenia was to compete in the first half of the second semi-final on 24 May 2012.
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