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Ukraine's Parliament Rejects Russian Artist Ban

KIEV, Ukraine (CelebrityAccess) — Ukraine`s parliament has rejected a controversial measure that would have banned Russian artists from touring or performing in the former Soviet republic without making a political statement.

According to Billboard, the bill would require artists from Russia to provide a written document condemning "the occupation of Ukrainian territory" by Russia before they would be able to perform in the Ukraine.

However, Ukraine's parliament voted against the measure, with only 174 parliament members casting positive votes when 226 were needed for it to pass. As well, an effort by the parliament speaker to allow the bill to be revised and reconsidered was also rejected, Billboard said.

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have been high, especially since 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula, including strategically important port and naval facilities located there. The Ukraine now considers the region to be occupied territory.

According to Billboard, the Ukraine maintains a 'blacklist' of Russian artists and cultural figures who supported the annexation, including singers Oleg Gazmanov, Iosif Kobzon, Valeria, Mikhail Boyarsky, Nikolai Rastorguyev and Grigory Leps. – Staff Writers