After months of speculation, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has revealed the final list of countries that will be represented at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow.
After 10 yearsof absence, Slovakia makes a welcome return to the Eurovision family. San Marino withdraws this year, after debuting in 2008, and Georgia will take part despite earlier intentions. Also Latvia will take part despite having announced earlier their decision not to compete due to financial reasons, the same goes for Lithuania who will also be present in Moscow.
The following 38 countries will be represented in the two Semi-Finals of the 54th Eurovision Song Contest, on 12th and 14th of May 2009 (national broadcaster in brackets):
Albania (RTVSH); Andorra (RTVA); Armenia (ARMTV); Azerbaijan (Ictimai TV); Belarus (BTRC); Belgium (RTBF); Bosnia & Herzegovina (BHRT); Bulgaria (BNT); Croatia (HRT); Cyprus (CyBC); Czech Republic (CT); Denmark (DR); Estonia (ERR); Finland (YLE); FYR Macedonia (MKRTV); Georgia (GPB); Greece (ERT); Hungary (MTV); Iceland (RÚV); Ireland (RTÉ); Israel (IBA); Latvia (LTV); Lithuania (LRT); Malta (PBS); Moldova (TRM); Montenegro (RTCG); the Netherlands (NOS); Norway (NRK); Poland (TVP); Portugal (RTP); Romania (TVR); Serbia (RTS); Slovakia (STV); Slovenia (RTVSLO); Sweden (SVT); Switzerland (SRG SSR idée suisse); Turkey (TRT) and Ukraine (NTU).
France (FT3), Germany (NDR/ARD), Spain (TVE) and the United Kingdom (BBC), known as the Big Fourare automatically qualified for the Final together with last year's winning country,Russia (Channel One). The final of the EurovisionSong Contest is scheduledfor 16th of May.
The draw to determinewhich of the two semi finalsthe 38 Semi-Finalists will participate in, will take place on the 30th of January in Moscow, details here.
The draws for the running order of the Semi-Finals, the Final and voting order take place inoraroundmid-March.