Bipartisan Group Calls on Trump to Oppose Russia’s Bid for Top Spot at Interpol

Russia is vying for the top spot at Interpol, which would be like “putting the fox in charge of the hen house,” a bipartisan group of lawmakers warned Monday. They called on the Trump administration to oppose the candidacy of Major General Alexander Prokopchuk to lead the international law enforcement body as its president. The vote will take place Wednesday in Dubai.

U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), say the general has been part of the Kremlin’s continued harassment campaign of Russian political opponents, journalists and dissidents since he served as the head of Russia’s National Central Bureau since 2011.

The lawmakers say Russia already abuses Interpol’s red notice system, whereby notices of arrest are sent to all member countries as a form of harassment of dissidents. One of the most high-profile recent victims was businessman Bill Browder.

“We are actively and broadly engaged with Interpol member states to underscore the need to elect someone who will promote, not undermine, the values and practices that make Interpol such a vital international body,” a State Department official emailed, speaking anonymously to discuss the vote.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

—Kimberly Dozier