The Chinese embassy in Moscow on Friday criticized “brutal and excessive law enforcement by Russia” after five Chinese citizens were denied entry into the country.

In a post on Chinese social media platform WeChat, the embassy said the incident had “seriously damaged the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”

On attempting to enter Russia on July 29, the group of Chinese citizens was “repeatedly” questioned for “up to 4 hours,” according to the statement. They had their tourist visas canceled and were refused entry, it said.

The incident is “inconsistent with the overall situation of friendly Sino-Russian relations and the trend of increasingly close friendly exchanges of personnel between the two countries,” added the embassy. “The Russian side is required to immediately find out the cause of the incident, take active measures to eliminate the bad influence, and ensure that similar incidents will not recur in the future.”

Beijing committed to a “no-limits partnership” with Moscow just two days before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. It is among the Kremlin’s top remaining allies, and has not condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for the invasion.

Representatives of the Chinese government this weekend are joining more than 40 countries in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for Saudi-hosted — and Kremlin-free — Ukraine peace talks.