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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 May, 2003, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Russia launches Eurovision appeal
Tatu at Eurovision
The UK and Ireland were the only countries to award Russia no points
Russia has launched an official appeal after teenage duo Tatu, their Eurovision contenders, were beaten into third place in the song contest.

The group, who have had hit singles around the world, received "unlikely low points" from countries like the UK and Ireland, national broadcaster Channel One said.

Tatu came just three points behind the winner, Turkish singer Sertab Erener.

UK viewers did not award the group any points, while in Ireland a jury chose to do the same after public phone votes could not be collated in time.

Channel One "officially declares that it discredits the voting results of the Eurovision song contest 2003", it said in a statement.

The channel broadcast the show in Russia and is a member of the European Broadcasting Union, which runs the contest.

Turkey's Sertab Erener
Turkey will host the show next year after winning
If Ireland's public phone vote had been able to take place, Tatu may have got more points, it said.

"Considering insignificant difference in points between the first and third places, there are grounds to believe that the contest results could be much different for Russia," it said.

Bosnia-Herzegovina and Russia also used jury votes because of their countries' poor telecommunications.

Turkey will now host the event in 2004 as a prize for winning.

'Political'

Channel One spokesman Igor Burenkov told Echo of Moscow radio: "Eurovision is all about politics.

"All those who have won in recent years are countries entering the European Union: Estonia, Latvia and, this time, Turkey."

But an European Broadcasting Union spokeswoman told the Moscow Times: "All the rules were followed."

Tatu became the first Russian group to enjoy global pop success, with a number one single in countries including the UK, Germany and New Zealand.


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