Dubai, Nov 24: It was yet another ‘Cold War’ moment over the election of the new president of the Interpol, the international police agency, and the West had the last laugh over Russia as South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang won the contest at a meeting here on Wednesday.
Kim’s election dashed Russia’s hopes of playing a key role in the Interpol. Alexander Prokopchuk, a former official of Russia’s interior ministry, was expected to become the president of the body but his nomination was opposed as critics accused Moscow of eyeing to use the Interpol to target its political enemies.
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According to a CNN report, a bipartisan group of US senators released a letter on Monday, November 19, saying the election of Prokopchuk was akin to putting a fox in charge of a henhouse.
Though the president of the Interpol doesn’t look after the organisation’s day-to-day functioning, yet the collective decision to bar a Russian from becoming the holder of the post was seen in the West as a victory to curb the Kremlin’s growing international influence.
The US, despite its current president’s warm relation with his Russian counterpart, backed Kim. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, considered close to US President Donald Trump, said: “We encourage all nations and organizations that are part of Interpol and that respect the rule of law to choose a leader with credibility and integrity that reflects one of the world’s most critical law enforcement bodies.”
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The Interpol is an international venue for national police forces to share information to resolve crimes and track down fugitives. The West, including the US, alleged that Russia used Interpol’s procedures to settle political scores and harass its critics.