02:57 GMT +325 March 2019
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    Kremlin Cites Strong Pressure as Russian Hopeful Loses Interpol Chief Elections

    © AFP 2019 / ROSLAN RAHMAN
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    The US and UK earlier backed the candidacy of Kim Jong Yang, while claiming that the Russian candidate, Maj. Gen. Alexander Prokopchuk, would serve the Kremlin's interests. Moscow has lambasted the claims, calling them “some kind of intervention into the international organisation’s electoral process".

    The Kremlin spokesman has expressed regret Wednesday that Russian Gen. Alexander Prokopchuk lost Interpol chief elections.

    "But, on the other hand, if you look at a number of statements from a number of countries on the eve of the elections impartially, then, of course, the pressure was strong, obviously," Dmitry Peskov said.

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

    Interpol has announced that the current acting head of the organisation, South Korean Kim Jong Yang, has been elected the new president at the 87th general assembly in Dubai.

    Kim succeeded Meng Hongwei, who stepped down last month after being arrested in China over corruption allegations in September, and will serve until 2020, thus completing the four-year mandate of his predecessor.

    Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington was 'strongly' endorsing the current acting head of Interpol. The statement followed a letter by a bipartisan group of US senators, warning against the election of Russian Maj. Gen. Alexander Prokopchuk, who serves as Interpol's vice-president for Europe, as the new president of the organisation.

    While the senators claimed that Prokopchuk's win would be akin 'putting a fox in charge of a henhouse' and that Moscow would abuse its control over the organisation, UK Foreign Office minister Harriet Baldwin said that she would not speculate on the outcome of the vote, but the country backed the candidacy of Kim.

    Reacting to the letter, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that it could be deemed as pressure on Interpol.

    "Perhaps, it is some kind of intervention into the international organisation's electoral process. What else can we call it?" he said.

    Interpol president is usually elected by the General Assembly for a period of four years.

    organization, vote, president, election, Interpol, United States
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