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Putin surprises crowd on Harley

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin joined around 5,000 bikers in Sevastopol, southern Ukraine, riding on a Harley Davidson.

Putin participated in the international biker convention, urging bikers to unite in promoting safe driving - which could lead to a decrease in bike insurance claims.

The annual festival on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula attracted motorcyclists from Europe as well as other places of the world.

Wearing sunglasses, black shirt and jeans as well as black fingerless gloves, the Russian Prime Minister jumped on the three-wheeled bike and motored toward a stage along a dusty road. He smiled and waving to the enthusiastic crowd as he rode the bike.

The premier, who was in Ukraine for discussions with the country's new Russia-friendly leadership, described the motorbike as "the most democratic form of transport".

© Press Association 2010