The Night Wolves group had planned to enter Poland next week to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Their plan was to cross several countries on their way to Berlin, following a path taken by the Red Army in its defeat of Adolf Hitler’s Germany.
Many Poles reacted angrily to plans by the pro-Putin group to make a symbolic drive through their country at a time of deep strain between Russia and the West. Prime minister Ewa Kopacz recently called the plans a “provocation”.
The foreign ministry in Warsaw said it was refusing to let the bikers enter Poland because it did not receive precise information from them about their route and schedule. “This data was necessary to ensure proper security for the participants,” it said in a statement.
The ministry said it also received information about the group’s plans too late. The decision was relayed to the Russian Embassy in Warsaw in a diplomatic note.
Other Russian bikers not associated with the Night Wolves will be allowed to enter, the ministry said. The Night Wolves have close ties to Putin, who has been shown riding with the club.