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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Chooses Moscow for Eurovision

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday chose Moscow as the host city for next year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Putin's announcement marks the end of speculation on where Europe's premier pop pageant would be held. St. Petersburg also vied for the honor.

Russia is hosting Eurovision 2009 because its representative, Dima Bilan, won this year's contest in Serbia with the song "Believe." The contest is traditionally held in the home country of the previous year's winner.

St. Petersburg's Mayor Valentina Matviyenko said the northern capital would be ready to host. Bilan, however, pushed for Moscow, sparking a national debate over which would be more suitable.

Putin, a St. Petersburg native, pointed to Moscow's developed infrastructure and the possibility of reducing costs as reasons for the choice.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov, whom Putin has charged with coordinating the event, said the contest would take place on May 16 at Moscow's Olimpiisky Sports Complex, RIA-Novosti reported.