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Russia makes representation to Polish ambassador over denial of entry to bikers

April 28, 2015, 21:36 UTC+3
Polish border guards on Monday blocked entry for 10 Russian bikers from the Night Wolves club traveling from Moscow to Berlin for the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany
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© EPA/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

MOSCOW, April 28. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it made a representation to the Polish ambassador to Russia, Katarzyna Pelczynska-Nalecz, over Warsaw’s denial of entry to Russian bikers from the Night Wolves club taking part in a Moscow-Berlin rally dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany.

"The ambassador was told that the Russian side is still waiting for exhaustive explanations in connection with ungrounded and defiant actions on the part of Warsaw, which can’t be called otherwise than mocking the memory of those who died for the sake of liberating Europe from fascism," the ministry said.

Pelczynska-Nalecz said she would report to Warsaw of the Russian representation.

Entry denial

Polish border guards on Monday blocked entry for 10 Russian bikers from the Night Wolves club traveling from Moscow to Berlin for the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.

"They will not cross the border as they do not fulfill the conditions of entry into Poland," Dariusz Sienicki, a border guard spokesman said.

The Polish Foreign Ministry said that "the decision was based on absence of required, accurate information on the plan of the group’s stay in Poland, accurate routes and indication of places of sleeping accommodation for the club’s members."

"These data were required to ensure proper security for participants of the rally and to duly organize the action," the ministry said. It also claimed it "received notes about the rally from the Russian side too late - less than a week prior to the planned start of the event."

Russia’s embassy in Poland said everything had been done in time and that the bikers had valid documents allowing them to enter the Schengen zone.

After spending hours at Poland's Terespol border crossing the bikers had to return to the Belarusian city of Brest located near the Polish border.

The Russian bikers left Moscow on April 25. They were due to travel via Minsk, Brest, Wroclaw, Brno, Bratislava, Vienna, Munich and Prague before reaching Berlin on May 9, Victory Day.

The German Foreign Ministry earlier said visas for a few participants of the tour had been canceled.

Polish bikers' move

Meanwhile, Polish bikers from the Katyn Raid club honored the memory of Victory on behalf of the Night Wolves club. Polish motorcyclists lit a commemorative candle and laid flowers to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Pilsudski Square in downtown Warsaw.

Katyn Raid leader Wiktor Wegrzyn expressed regret on Monday that Night Wolves failed to complete their journey and had to undergo unpleasant procedures on the border.

"They underwent a personal search, their clothes were removed, each screw on their bikes was inspected just to say that they won't enter Poland," Wegrzyn said. "I will have to apologize to the Russians for my government."

He said he hopes the incident won't affect relations betwen Russian and Polish bikers and praised the Russian authorities for allowing Polish motorcyclists to cross the border fast.

European Commission reaction

The European Commission said the denial of entry to Night Wolves is Poland's internal affair.

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