Russian bikers refused entry to Poland at border

Polish border guards have blocked entry into Poland for 10 Russian bikers who said they were following a path commemorating the Red Army victory’s over Nazi Germany 70 years ago.

Russian bikers refused entry to Poland at border

Border guard spokesman Dariusz Sienicki announced the decision after members of the Night Wolves, a nationalistic Russian group loyal to President Vladimir Putin, approached the border and tried to enter Poland.

Polish authorities said last week they would ban entry for the group, with leaders calling their plans to ride through Poland as part of Second World War commemorations a provocation.

The Night Wolves vowed to enter anyway and 15 were seen yesterday morning at the border crossing between Brest, Belarus, and Terespol, Poland.

Belarusian guards let them pass but they were then held in a hangar by Polish officials.

“These people will not cross into Poland. Each of them will individually receive a decision denying them entry into Poland’s territory,” Sienicki said.

Some Russian bikers had been seen entering Poland earlier but they appeared to belong to another organisation whose members are allowed entry.

Many Poles view the Night Wolves with suspicion because the pro-Putin bikers have rallied against the Ukrainian government and celebrated Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The German government has also expressed unease at the bikers and said they would not be welcome.

“This is not a normal bike club. They are tools in the hand of Vladimir Putin to make propaganda,” said Tomasz Czuwara, spokesman for the Open Dialog Foundation, a Polish group that supports Ukraine.

DISCOVER MORE CONTENT LIKE THIS

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox