Gardner, Cardin Firmly Against Russian Leadership of Interpol

Washington, DC- Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Commissioners for the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today released the following statement firmly opposing the candidacy of Russian national Alexander Prokopchuk to serve as the President of International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol. 


“It is unconscionable that a representative of the Russian state would be named as the next President of the world’s international police organization,” the Senators said. “The Kremlin has ordered and executed extrajudicial killings abroad and has used chemical weapons on the soil of a NATO ally. To allow a tool of Vladimir Putin to run Interpol would undermine international law and invite further Russian abuses. We call on the Administration to take every appropriate step to prevent the Kremlin from taking over this important organization and renew our call for the State Department to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism under U.S. law.”


Senator Gardner has been an outspoken critic of Russia and President Putin. He is the author of S. 2780, a bill to require a determination on designation of the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism. Senator Gardner is a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission. The Helsinki Commission consists of 21 Commissioners, 18 from the United States Congress and one each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce. Senator Gardner is also a member of the Senate NATO Observer Group, which has an expanded mission to closely monitor and inform Senators outside of national security committees about defense spending commitments of Alliance members, the process of upgrading military capabilities, the Alliance’s counter-terrorism capability, NATO enlargement and the ability of NATO member states to address non-conventional warfare.


Senator Cardin has been a longstanding critic of Russia’s malign influence in Europe and U.S. elections. He authored the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which imposes landmark sanctions against human rights violators within the Russian government, as well as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which imposes sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Senator Cardin commissioned a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democratic staff report in January 2018 detailing Russian president Vladimir Putin’s nearly two decades-long assault on democratic institutions, universal values, and the rule of law across Europe and in his own country. As co-chair of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Senator Cardin continues to raise the alarm surrounding Russia interference in U.S. elections and Russia’s tactics of imprisoning journalists, whistleblowers, and human rights activists as a means of suppressing media freedom and political opposition.