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Russia protests Polish Night Wolves decision

PR dla Zagranicy
John Beauchamp 25.04.2015 12:46
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has protested at Friday’s decision by Warsaw not to allow the planned Night Wolves biker rally to cross Poland on its way to celebrate the end of World War II in Berlin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets the Night Wolves in Sevastopol in 2012. Photo: cc/kremlin.ruRussian President Vladimir Putin meets the Night Wolves in Sevastopol in 2012. Photo: cc/kremlin.ru

A statement on the Russian Foreign Ministry website writes that “We are angered by the refusal of the Polish authorities in our request for assistance in obtaining the necessary permits in connection with activities planned on 27-29 April in Poland as part of the […] ‘Roads of Victory’ [rally] dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.”

The statement goes on to accuse Poland of banning the rally “under the false pretext ‘of late and insufficient information’”.

The comment comes as the basis for Warsaw’s official decision was the lack of precise information as regards to the schedule of the biker group’s stay in Poland, trips and accurate itinerary of the members of the club.

According to Poland’s Foreign Ministry, this information was necessary to ensure the proper protection of the participants and the appropriate organisation of the event.

“This is a blatant lie,” the Russian statement underlines.

Poland’s Foreign Ministry has not commented on Moscow’s hard-worded statement, underlining only that the decision was made on “formal grounds” and was not political in nature.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreev told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that “over the past week we handed over detailed information on the route and itinerary of the Russian bikers to the Polish authorities a number of times”.

Poland’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Marcin Wojciechowski admitted that a diplomatic note had been sent from the Russians which asked for permission for the rally to go through Poland, although it was imprecise, according to Wojciechowski.

“[The note was sent] without details on the route, accommodation, list of participants and their itinerary while in Poland,” Wojciechowski said.

However, Andreev underlined that Warsaw’s decision is political, saying that the decision to block entry to the Night Wolves is due to a worsening in relations between the two countries. (jb)

Source: IAR/PAP

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