Europe

Russia denounces 'interference' in Interpol leadership vote

Alexander Prokopchuk, a former major-general at the Russian Interior Ministry, looks set to be elected as Interpol president. Source: SPTNK

Interpol is due to elect a new head and four US senators have urged the Trump administration to oppose the candidacy of Russia's Alexander Prokopchuk.

The Kremlin says that a statement by a group of US senators opposing the election of a Russian candidate to head international police organisation Interpol amounted to election meddling.

Interpol is due to elect a new head on November 21 and four US senators, including Marco Rubio, published a joint statement on Monday urging the administration of US President Donald Trump to oppose the candidacy of Russia's Alexander Prokopchuk.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call: "This is probably a certain kind of interference in the electoral process of an international organisation."

"What else can you call it? This is a vivid example."

Four US senators, including Marco Rubio, published a joint statement urging President Donald Trump to oppose the candidacy of Russia's Alexander Prokopchuk.
Four US senators, including Marco Rubio, published a joint statement urging President Donald Trump to oppose the candidacy of Russia's Alexander Prokopchuk.
AP

A growing chorus of critics is calling on Interpol to reject a Russian interior ministry official, Alexander Prokopchuk, to lead the organisation, over fears Moscow could abuse the presidency to target political opponents.

Current Interpol vice president Prokopchuk is seen as the favourite for the position.

In a statement on Monday, US senators Jeanne Shaheen, Roger Wicker, Chris Coons and Marco Rubio urged members of Interpol's General Assembly to reject Prokopchuk's candidacy.

"Interpol electing Major General Alexander Prokopchuk as its new president is akin to putting a fox in charge of a henhouse," they said.

"Russia routinely abuses Interpol for the purpose of settling scores and harassing political opponents, dissidents and journalists," they added, claiming that Prokopchuk has been "personally involved in this intimidation strategy".

The other candidate is South Korea's Kim Jong Yang, who has been acting president since former head Meng Hongwei went missing in his native China last month.

Beijing later informed Interpol that Men

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