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Moscow considers Germany’s move to deny entry to Russian bikers politically motivated

May 01, 2015, 14:55 UTC+3
The Roads of Victory motor rally is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 and the end of World War II in Europe
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Russian Foreign Ministry building seen in the background of a stop sign

Russian Foreign Ministry building seen in the background of a stop sign

© ITAR-TASS/Gennady Khamelyanin

MOSCOW, May 1. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry in a statement called Germany’s decision to ban entry to three Russian bikers "unfounded, discriminatory and politically motivated." 

The move by the German authorities is aimed at "disrupting and discrediting the Roads of Victory motor rally initiated by the Russian Motorcyclists organization and dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 and the end of World War II in Europe," the ministry said.

On April 30, three Russian citizens, who are members of an interregional public organization, the Russian Motorcyclists, were banned from entering Germany at the Berlin Schoenefeld Airport although they had been granted visas.

After a lengthy procedure of verification of identity and documents examination, the Russian citizens were told they could not cross the German border as they posed "a threat to public security." The authorities asked them to return to Russia by the next flight.

Russia-Poland biker conflict

On April 25, bikers from Night Wolves club started their Moscow-Berlin motorcycle marathon dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Victory in World War II. The planned route will pass through Minsk, Brest, Wroclaw, Brno, Bratislava, Vienna, Munich and Prague. On April 27, the bikers were denied entry to Poland. The Polish Foreign Ministry said the reason for denying entry lay in "lack of necessary concrete information about the group’s plans on the territory of Poland." Germany earlier revoked visas of several participants of the marathon.

Russia’s Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev said on Tuesday that Poland’s decision to deny entry to Night Wolves bikers will negatively affect bilateral relations between Warsaw and Moscow. "There were no grounds for such decision," Andreev told Rossiya 1 TV channel. "We regret that such a decision was made," he added. "Of course, such situations cannot go unnoticed for our future relations," the diplomat noted. "The 70th anniversary of Victory Day and everything connected to it is definitely a very sensitive topic for us," he stressed.

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