Baku, Azerbaijan, May 11
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, have strongly condemned the brandishing of the "flag" of the Nagorno-Karabakh in the Green Room during the live transmission of the first semi final on May 10.
The EBU and the Reference Group said they consider the flag's appearance in the transmission harmful to the Eurovision Song Contest's brand, read a message posted on the EBU Facebook page May 11.
"The Reference Group has decided to sanction Armenian broadcaster, AMPTV, in accordance with the Rules. The nature of the sanction will be determined, at the latest, by the next Reference Group meeting in June," according to the Facebook post.
"We are acutely aware of the tense situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and the ongoing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan," said the message.
The EBU and the Reference Group also said the appearance of the "flag" of the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh in the live transmission is a serious breach of the Rule 1.2.2h of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest stating that "no messages promoting any organisation, institution, political cause or other, company, brand, products or services shall be allowed in the Shows."
"Furthermore, the EBU has imposed a zero-tolerance policy towards the Armenian delegation with regards to breaching the Rules of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, in particular in relation to the aforementioned incident," read the post.
"The Reference Group wishes to point out that any further breach of the Rules of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest could lead to disqualification from this year's event or any successive editions," said the message.