Medvedev congratulates Dima Bilan on Eurovision-2008 victory:Kremlin

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Moscow, May 25 (UNI) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has congratulated singer Dima Bilan and the Russian team on their victory at the Erovision-2008 Song Contest, Kremlin spokesman Alexei Gromov said today.

Russia's Bilan won the Eurovision Song Contest yesterday, beating 24 contestants to claim his country's first win in the event with his heartfelt ballad ''Believe''.

''Dmitry Medvedev is confident that Russia will host the Eurovision-2009 Contest at top level,'' Itar-Tass quoted Mr Gromov as saying.

Bilan received 272 points from telephone voters in a stage show that also included Hungarian violinist Edvin Marton and famous Russian Olympic figure skating champion Yevgeny Plyushchenko.

Ukraine's Ani Lorak came second with 230 points followed by Greece's Kalomira with 218 points.

It is the first victory in the contest for Russia. Eurovision contests have been held annually since 1956.

Russia was represented in recent years by Alla Pugachyova, Filipp Kirkorov, Alsou, and popular groups Mumi Troll, Prime Minister, and Tatu.

UNI XC RJ KP1628

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