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Polish bikers outraged by authorities’ denying entry to Russian bikers

April 29, 20:12 UTC+3 WARSAW
Polish bikers planned to meet the Russian bikers at the Polish-Belarusian border and join them in all events planned in Poland
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Polish bikers waiting for Russian bikers at the Polish-Belarusian border last year

Polish bikers waiting for Russian bikers at the Polish-Belarusian border last year

© EPA/WOJCIECH PACEWICZ

WARSAW, April 29. /TASS/. Polish bikers from the biggest local bike club Katyn Rally are outraged by the decision of the Polish authorities not to let into the country the Russian V-Day motorcade heading for Berlin, Katyn Rally leader Wiktor Wegrzyn told TASS on Friday.

"We see this decision as shameful," he said. "Like last year, we will ride to the sites where Night Wolves planned to put flowers," he added, noting that in Warsaw they would visit a military cemetery at Zwirki I Wigury Street to pay tribute to Soviet Red Army soldiers liberating Poland.

Earlier, they planned to meet the Russian bikers at the Polish-Belarusian border and join them in all events planned in Poland.

Refusal and Russia's reaction

Poland will not let in Russian bikers taking part in the motor rally "Roads of Victory - To Berlin" for security concerns, the Polish Foreign Ministry said on its official website on Friday.

"The reason for making such negative decision was the necessity to ensure protection of public order," the foreign ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed strong protest over Poland’s refusal to let through a Russian V-Day motorcade.

"In connection with unfriendly actions by the Polish authorities Poland’s ambassador to Russia was invited to the Foreign Ministry on April 29 to hear a strong protest," the Foreign Ministry’s statement runs. "It was stated that the Polish side’s decision taken on the eve of V-Day celebrations is an act of mockery of the memory of those who lost their lives in the struggle with fascism. The responsibility for the imminent negative effects of this challenging behavior on bilateral relations will rest exclusively on the Polish side."

Motor rally halted

The motor rally "Roads of Victory - To Berlin" was organized by the "Night Wolves" motorcycling club. Bikers started their rally earlier on Friday from the Moscow Biker Center. Their route lies through the territory of Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic and Germany. It is planned to end on May 9 in Berlin.

Last year the "Night Wolves" held a similar rally devoted to the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. They set out from Moscow on April 25, and their route lay through Minsk, Brest, Wroclaw, Brno, Bratislava, Vienna, Munich, Prague and Berlin. Before the start of the rally, Warsaw warned that bikers will be denied entry to the territory of Poland - the first country of the Schengen zone on their way. On April 27 bikers reached the Belarusian-Polish border, and some of them were denied entry to the country. Later, when the rest of bikers were already on the German territory, the German Foreign Ministry said that several visas were annulled. The remaining bikers successfully reached Berlin.

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