04:33 GMT +313 December 2018
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    This Oct.16, 2007 file photo shows the entrance hall of Interpol's headquarters in Lyon, central France

    Kremlin Blasts US Senators' Warning Against Electing Russian as Interpol Head

    © AP Photo / Laurent Cipriani, File
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    Earlier, US lawmakers urged Trump to influence Interpol's General Assembly in order to prevent the election of Russian Major General Alexander Prokopchuk as the head of Interpol.

    Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, blasted the earlier call by a group of US Senators to prevent the election of a Russian candidate as the head of Interpol.

    "Undoubtedly, of course [it can be called pressure]… Perhaps, it is some kind of intervention into the international organisation's electoral process. What else can we call it?" Peskov said.

    A similar stance has been voiced by Russia’s Interior Ministry, which accused foreign media of running a smear campaign against its candidate to lead Interpol.

    "Today we are witnessing a campaign in foreign media to discredit the Russian candidate for Interpol president. We think it is unacceptable to politicize Interpol," ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk said.

    Alexander Prokopchuk has been the agency’s vice president for Europe since 2016 and is a veteran law enforcement officer, Volk told reporters, which makes him qualified to lead the organization.

    "If elected, Prokopchuk will continue to work in the interest of the international policing community," the spokeswoman emphasized.

    A bipartisan group of US Senators have published an open letter to President Trump's administration, urging it to exercise its 'influence' to ensure that the Russian candidate, Major General Alexander Prokopchuk, does not become Interpol's next chief.

    US Lawmakers' Letter to Trump

    It the letter, the senators wrote that electing Prokopchuk would be akin 'putting a fox in charge of a henhouse,' claiming that Moscow will abuse its control over the international organisation.

    The Lithuanian parliament adopted a resolution on 20 November suggesting the country should consider quitting Interpol in the event the Russian candidate wins the post. It also urges ‘other democratic states' to follow suit.

    In August 2018, US lawmakers came up with the idea of limiting Russia's right to issue so-called ‘red-notices,' because in their opinion, Moscow had abused this instrument, using it instead for ordinary arrest warrants. They also claimed that people, marked for Interpol arrest by Russia should not be denied entry or asylum in the US.

    READ MORE: Ex-Interpol Chief Probed Over 'Taking and Giving' Bribes, Other Crimes in China

    Since 2011, Alexander Prokopchuk served as the head of the National Central Bureau of Interpol in Russia and as Vice-President of Interpol since 10 November 2016. The previous head of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, resigned after he was arrested in China over suspicions of bribery.

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    Tags:
    meddling, interference, pressure, elections, Interpol, Dmitry Peskov, United States, Russia
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