WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland will not allow members of a Russian motorcycle club linked to President Vladimir Putin to cross its border and enter the European Union's territory, the Polish Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
The decision is likely to put further strain on the bilateral relations, already damaged by Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis.
Members of the Night Wolves, the group blacklisted by the United States for taking part in Russia's annexation of Crimea, are taking part in a bike ride from Moscow to Berlin, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.
"The Foreign Ministry has passed a diplomatic note to the Russian Embassy in Warsaw .. concerning a denial of entry to Poland to an organized group of motorcyclists, which included representatives of the Night Wolves club," the ministry said in a statement.
The Night Wolves have strongly backed the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and the support for them shown by Putin, who rode with them in a 2011 motorcycle parade.
Earlier this month, the Polish Prime Minister said the ride was a provocation, adding that the final decision on the matter would be made by border control officials.
"If it was to disturb our security, put the Polish people in danger of distress, law is there to be used," she told private radio To FM.
The Russian embassy in Warsaw was not immediately available for comment. The Polish foreign ministry was expected to hold a news conference later on Friday.
(Reporting by Wiktor Szary and Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Tom Heneghan)