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Russia's Eurovision Entrant Tries to Calm Dispute

KAZAN — Russia's contestant in last weekend's Eurovision Song Contest said Wednesday that there was no need for an investigation into "lost" Azeri votes for her performance.

"To be honest, I don't know why an investigation is needed," Dina Garipova said. "I am satisfied with the result of the contest."

The dispute has dragged in both the Russia and Azeri foreign ministers.

"We can't be happy with the fact that 10 points were stolen from our participant, primarily in terms of how this event is organized," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a joint news conference in Moscow on Tuesday with his Azeri counterpart, Elmar Mammadyarov.

"We have agreed with Elmar Mammadyarov that … we will discuss joint measures to ensure that this outrageous action will not go unanswered," Lavrov added.

Garipova, 22, finished in fifth place at the Eurovision finals in Malmo, Sweden, on Saturday with a total of 174 points. She did not receive a single point in the final televised count of Azerbaijan's vote, while Russia gave the maximum 12 points to Azerbaijan's Farid Mammadov, who came second overall.

Azeri authorities have questioned the vote tally, claiming votes for Russia were apparently "lost."

Mammadyarov said on Tuesday that data from Azerbaijan's three major mobile operators indicated Garipova had received the second-highest number of votes submitted via mobile phone text messages, giving her 10 points overall. The missing 10 points would not have altered the overall results of the competition.

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