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Russian bikers banned from entering Germany will demand compensation

May 13, 2015, 19:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On May 6, an administrative court in Berlin considered invalid the decision of the German police to ban entry to the country to two members of a Russian biker club
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Alexander Zaldostanov

Alexander Zaldostanov

© Yuri Mashkov/TASS

MOSCOW, May 13. /TASS/. Russia’s Night Wolves biker club will ask a German court to return money two motorcyclists spent on their failed trip to Germany, the club’s founder Alexander Zaldostanov said Wednesday at a news conference in TASS.

On May 6, an administrative court in Berlin considered invalid the decision of the German police to ban entry to the country to two Night Wolves members.

"The court canceled all accusations against us and restored visas. And still we want to put a period and check the German judicial system," Zaldostanov said. He said the biker club will seek in court the return of money to bikers who were not allowed to enter Germany.

Both participants of a biker rally had valid Schengen visas issued by Italy. They wanted to use those visas to enter Germany April 30 to take part in events in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s Victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, but were forced to go back to Russia.

"The administrative court obligated the federal republic to allow entry for implementation of those plans. The reasons for the ban cited by federal police are invalid. According to the Schengen Borders Code, the holder of a Schengen visa may be banned from entry if he presents a threat to public order, domestic security or international relations of a[n EU] member country," reads a statement distributed by the administrative court in Berlin.

But there are no grounds to refer to one of those points, the court ruled.

Biker rally

Night Wolves members left Moscow on April 25, embarking on a biker rally timed to the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s Victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two. Their route was to pass through Minsk, Brest, Wroclaw, Brno, Bratislava, Vienna, Munich, Prague and end in Berlin.

From the start, the bikers faced difficulties. Poland banned entry for Night Wolves, and Germany annulled visas for some of the club’s members. Nevertheless, some members of Night Wolves managed to reach Berlin.

A TASS correspondent reported Saturday, May 9, that bikers from Russia’s Night Wolves club on Saturday laid flowers to memorials to Soviet warriors in Berlin.

They were met by applause and shouts "Well done!" from people who gathered in Treptower Park to honor the memory of those fallen during the Great Patriotic War.

The Great Patriotic War is a term used in Russia and other former Soviet republics to describe hostilities on the eastern fronts of World War II in 1941-1945.

"The way to Berlin was complicated, we were going to Germany using various means, some people were stopped, not allowed to go," a participant of the motorcycle rally named German, from the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, told TASS Saturday.

"For example, I got here via Turkey and Greece," he said.

Dozens of bikers from different countries, including Germany, Macedonia, Poland and Serbia, gathered in Treptower Park. Many of them were reluctant to speak to journalists because reporters "often misinterpret our words," according to a biker from Thuringia.

Replica of Monument to the Liberator Soldier

Night Wolves bikers took part in the Immortal Regiment march, during which ordinary people carry photographs of their relatives who took part in the Great Patriotic War, in honor of Victory Day in Moscow on May 9 and made a present to veterans: they mounted near the German Embassy in Moscow an eight-meter replica of the Monument to the Liberator Soldier located in Berlin’s Treptower Park since May 1949.

According to the motorcyclists’ plan, those members of the club who were banned from entering the Eurozone would be able to lay flowers to the memorial.

"This is our response to the lawlessness organized against us. The Liberator Soldier, as a silent rebuke, should wake conscience in German diplomats," Zaldostanov said then.

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