LATER this week, the 192 member countries of Interpol will meet to select a new president of the organisation.

The role is an extremely significant one when it comes to coordinating the global fight against terrorism and organised crime. Interpol, or the International Criminal Police Organisation, is the world’s leading body for facilitating police cooperation. They chase the bad guys.

So it is utterly ridiculous that the favourite to land the role of president is Alexander Prokopchuk, a representative of the Russian law enforcement agencies that have done so much to disrupt the work of Interpol in the last few years.

From the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal to the murder of journalists Anna Politkovskaya and Boris Nemtsov, the Russian state has been implicated in crimes that should be the focus of Interpol investigations.

If Mr Prokopchuk is elected as the head of the organisation, it will be a diplomatic disaster for Interpol.

According to Vince Cable, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Mr Prokopchuk has already abused Interpol powers to pursue the enemies of Russian president Vladimir Putin during his time within the organisation.

Speaking in the Houses of Parliament yesterday, Mr Cable said that if Mr Prokopchuk was elected, it would “amount to accepting that Interpol has become a branch of the Russian mafia”.

We wholeheartedly agree with his comments.