February 19, 2009 / 1:47 PM / in 8 years

Georgians take swipe at Putin with Eurovision entry

TBILISI (Reuters) - Still smarting from war with Russia six months ago, Georgians have picked a song for this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow that takes a swipe at Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The disco song "We Don't Wanna Put In" by Stefane & 3G was chosen late Wednesday by a jury and public vote on Georgian television, and has already caused a stir on the Internet.

It promises to receive a cool reception in Moscow on May 12-16. The English-language chorus runs:

"We don't wanna put in,

Cuz negative move,

It's killin' the groove,

I'm gonna try to shoot in,

Some disco tonight,

Boogie with you."

The band has not hidden the fact the song alludes to Putin, the ex-Russian president who evokes strong feelings in Georgia.

"Since we (Georgia) decided to take part, we need to send a message to Europe and first of all to Moscow," song producer Kakha Tsiskaridze told Reuters Thursday.

"The song is called "Put In" and its text carries a double meaning," he said. "I think everyone will understand what we want to say. It's important for us to say what Georgia wants to say as a country."

But Georgia's public broadcaster denied the song contained a political message. The contest rules prohibit lyrics, speeches, or gestures "of a political or similar nature."

Georgia originally said it would not take part in the contest after the five-day war in August 2008, when Georgia sent troops and tanks to retake the pro-Russian rebel region of South Ossetia, which threw off Tbilisi's rule in 1991-92.

Russia responded with a counter-strike that drove the Georgian army out of South Ossetia. Moscow's troops pushed into Georgia, saying they needed to prevent further Georgian attacks.

The former Soviet republic later reversed its decision on entering the contest, citing repeated requests from Eurovision organizers.

"This song is not about politics, it has nothing to do with politics and politicians," said Natia Uznadze, international projects producer at First Channel. "If you look at the text of the song there's nothing wrong with it," Uznadze told Reuters.

"It's a funny disco song," she said. "I hope we won't face any problems in Moscow since we don't want a scandal."

Reporting by Margarita Antidze and Matt Robinson

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