Alexander Karpov, Alena Medvedeva
Washington must use its influence to force Russia out of Interpol. A group of American parliamentarians sent such an appeal to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Attorney General Merrick Garland. Congressmen demand to stop the membership of the Russian Federation in the international organization of the criminal police because of the special operation in Ukraine. To achieve this goal, they propose to threaten Interpol with cuts in US funding. At the same time, the leadership of the organization recently announced that it would not exclude Russia, since this would lead to serious consequences in the field of security. According to experts, such initiatives by American politicians are due to the fact that Western countries have largely used up the list of possible sanctions against Moscow, and therefore are forced to resort to such absurd measures.
The Joe Biden administration should get Interpol to exclude Russia from the organization because of the special operation in Ukraine. This is stated in the appeal of a group of US congressmen to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Attorney General Merrick Garland, published by the American media.
The document was dra-wn up by members of the Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe. This independent government agency includes senators and members of the House of Representatives from the Democratic and Republican parties.
“We urge the United States to take advantage of its position in Interpol (in particular, the Executive Committee of Interpol and the Financial Advisory Group) and make it clear that any inaction on Russian abuse of Interpol will seriously affect US contributions to the budget of the organization and its legal immunity on territory of the United States,” the document says.
According to Andrey Krasov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defense, Russia’s exclusion from the organization is unlikely today.
“At least I hope for a prudent outcome. But if such actions do take place, then we will understand th-at Interpol is a non-indepe-ndent organization, it acts on the orders of one very well-known country that claims to be exclusive,” the politician emphasized in a commentary to RT.
If the United States nevertheless achieves the term-ination of Russia’s membe-rship in Interpol, they will “burn all the bridges behind them,” Krasov believes.
“This will be a very serious challenge to the entire world security. If they try to exclude our country, this will not add security to the world, because Russia plays an important role in the organization,” the deputy explained.
Earlier, five countries that are members of the Five Eyes Intelligence Alli-ance (FVEY) – the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – demanded to restrict Russia’s access to Interpol systems. This was announced by British Home Secretary Priti Patel.
“Russia’s actions are a direct threat to the security of individual citizens and the cooperation of international law enforcement agencies,” Patel wrote on Twitter.
However, after that, Interpol issued a statement in which it said that it would not exclude Russia from the organization, as this would result in serious security consequences.
“At the political level, there have been calls to suspend membership or exclude Russia from the Interpol network. At the same time, heads of law enforcement agencies from around the world asked to continue cooperation with Russia within the framework of Interpol, citing serious security concerns in the event of a cessation of information exchange,” the international police structure emphasized.
Nevertheless, despite the declared neutrality, Interpol nevertheless decided to ch-ange the procedure for considering requests from Russia.
“In order to prevent any potential misuse of Interpol channels in relation to the prosecution of individuals associated or not associated with the conflict in Ukra-ine, the Secretary General has implemented enhanced oversight and control measures in relation to Russia. The Interpol Executive Committee supported this decision,” the organization said in a statement.
In particular, now all requests from Moscow will be sent to the governing bodies of Interpol to check for compliance with the rules of the organization, and only after that they will be transferred to addressees in other countries.
Recall that Interpol is an international organization uniting the criminal police and law enforcement agencies of 195 countries. The USSR was admitted to Interpol in 1990. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia became its successor, and the National Central Bureau of Interpol of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia was created in the country.
It is worth noting that this is not the first time that Washington, represented by the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, has made attempts to restrict Russia’s activities within the framework of Interpol. So, in 2018, senators – members of the commission from both parties of the United States appealed to the administration of Donald Trump and to the general assembly of the organization to oppose the election of the Russian candidate Alexander Prokopchuk as the head of Interpol.
Since 2011, Police Maj-or General Prokopchuk has headed the National Central Bureau of Interpol of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, and in 2016 he took over as vice president of an international organization. In addition to him, Kim Jong Yang, a police functionary from South Korea, who previously served as senior vice president of the organization, participated in the election of the new head of Interpol.
In their appeal, the senators then stated that Russia allegedly uses the organization to settle scores and persecute political opponents, and Prokopchuk allegedly personally contributes to this. As a result, Kim Jong Yang became the new president of Interpol (in November 2021, he was replaced in this post by the representative of the United Arab Emirates, General Ahmad Nasser al-Raisi).
Commenting on the demand of the members of the American commission, the Kremlin then called it a clear manifestation of interference in the electoral process at elections in an international organization.
As the director of the Franklin Roosevelt Foundation for the Study of the United States at Moscow State University Yuri Rogulev noted, now American parliamentarians are using the situation around Ukraine to achieve their goals of containing Russia, including again trying to limit the influence of the Russian Federation in Interpol.
“They are looking for how, for what and how else to prick Russia, limit it in some areas. But we have already encountered this,” the political scientist said.
At the same time, it is obvious that the exclusion of such a country as Russia from the international poli-ce organization will greatly affect its effectiveness and the international fight agai-nst crime, Rogulev stated.
“Interpol is engaged in international operations on cross-border crimes: smuggling, drug trafficking, money laundering. This requires international cooperation. Of course, Interpol is unlikely to exclude Russia from this system of cooperation, because this will not bring anyone any benefit,” the expert emphasized.
Rogulev called the very initiative of the members of the commission under the US Congress “stupid”.
“This requirement does not correspond to the interests of the United States or the interests of the world community and has nothing to do with the fight against crime. Purely political action. They come up with this because they have already gone through all the possible sanctions and are now trying to find at least some more opportunities to contain Russia,” added the RT interlocutor.
Vladimir Shapovalov, deputy director of the Institute of History and Politics of the Moscow State Pedagogical University, agrees with him. The expert also expressed the opinion that American parliamentarians put forward such proposals because they have largely exhausted the sanctions against Russia.
“With the exception of some points, there is no place to exclude Russia and it is impossible to introduce anything against Russia. Therefore, they go for such absolutely amazing things as a proposal to exclude the Russian Federation from Interpol,” the political scientist explained in a comment to RT.
Such proposals clearly show that the political class in Washington does not accept a picture of the world other than the American-centric one, Shapovalov added.
“At the same time, we see that many international organizations that previously positioned themselves as supposedly independent, in fact, depend only on Washington. That is, these are actually American organizations, in any case, they are subject to the dictates of the United States. Therefore, it is obvious: if the same happens to Interpol, this will mean that Interpol is also an organization that is part of the American-centric world, protecting primarily the interests of the United States,” the expert added.
Now the United States in the fight against Russia is using all available methods, real and symbolic strikes against Moscow. However, it is obvious that Russia is a very serious player that makes a significant contribution to the fight against cross-border crime, Shapovalov recalled.
“The exclusion of such a country from Interpol will actually mean the beginning of the destruction of this structure, since it is very difficult to imagine an international system for combating criminal activity that does not include one of the largest states in the world. This is absurd. Such actions will cause serious damage to the activities of Interpol,” concluded the analyst.