Four Russian bikers, who were detained in Iraq on May 20 for illegally crossing the Iraqi border, will be flown to Moscow on Monday, the Russian Embassy in Baghdad has announced.
“All the necessary documents allowing the Russians to leave have been prepared, and now we are working on sending them back home. We expect them to return to Moscow today,” said Sergei Cherkasov, a press attaché at the Russian Embassy in Baghdad.
The four bikers were detained near Baghdad on espionage and visa forgery charges after they came from Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region which does not require an Iraqi visa for travellers from Turkey. The men reportedly had no Iraqi visas.
Cherkasov added that the embassy was also considering how to send the bikers’ bikes back to Russia.
The bikers’ arrest triggered a diplomatic row, with Moscow sending notes to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, demanding their immediate release. Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani, pledged their quick release on Thursday. Hundreds of Moscow bikers also held a rally on Thursday near the Iraqi Embassy in support of their detained biker buddies.