Statement of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine A. Avakov on one more provocation of the Russian Federation using INTERPOL mechanisms2 March 2020
The Russian Federation has continuously abused the mechanisms of the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO-INTERPOL) to illegally prosecute in other countries of the world our citizens, who opposed the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, on the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
One more such provocation was committed by the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation against the citizen of Ukraine S. Melnichuk, former People’s Deputy of Ukraine, who was detained during the crossing of the Greek-Bulgarian border on trumped-up charges of alleged involvement in the homicide in April 2014 in the Rostov region of the Russian Federation.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Central Bureau of INTERPOL of the National Police of Ukraine declare that it is inadmissible to abuse the mechanisms of the ICPO-INTERPOL as Article 3 of the organization’s Constitution prohibits politically motivated prosecution of any person.
We actively work through diplomatic channels to ensure that a Ukrainian citizen, S. Melnychuk, can return home.
At the same time, after the appeal from the National Central Bureau of INTERPOL in Ukraine the INTERPOL General Secretariat decided to reconsider the request of the Russian Federation to announce S. Melnychuk as a wanted person and detain him in order to verify its legal justification and compliance with Article 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution.
As the Minister of Internal Affairs, I applied to Mr. Jürgen Stock, the General Secretary of INTERPOL, on the necessity to develop an effective mechanism to block the misuses by the Russian Federation of its rights as a member state of the organization.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reminds that the law enforcement bodies of the Russian Federation have repeatedly abused the mechanisms and capabilities of Interpol concerning the citizens of Ukraine. In particular, it was done against such political and public figures as Anatoliy Hrytsenko, Mustafa Jemilev, Refat Chubarov, Ihor Mazur, and others. In all these cases, there was politically motivated persecution, which is unacceptable under Article 3 of the ICPO-INTERPOL Constitution.
All in all, the timely intervention of the National Central Bureau of INTERPOL in Ukraine during recent years allowed to prevent the illegal restriction of the rights of some 30 of our compatriots. The law enforcement bodies of the Russian Federation tried to detain these people on the territory of other countries-members of the ICPO-INTERPOL.
We hope that this next provocation of the Russian Federation against the citizen of Ukraine S. Melnychuk will not achieve its goal, and he will be able to return home.