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Intel alliance asks Interpol to suspend Russia as Kyiv wants Moscow isolated

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Intel alliance asks Interpol to suspend Russia as Kyiv wants Moscow isolated
Security personnel inspect the remains of a military weapon on a street in Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine, on Sunday. The Five Eyes intelligence alliance has asked Interpol to suspend the membership of Russia over launching the war against its neighbor. Photo by State Emergency Services Of Ukraine/ UPI | License Photo

March 7 (UPI) -- The United States with its Five Eyes nation partners have called on Interpol to immediately suspend Russia from access to its law enforcement services, while Kyiv called on the Group of Seven nations to push the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to expel them from their membership.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland with the justice minsters of Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand asked the international law enforcement agency and its executive committee to suspend Moscow from access to international data on crime and criminals shared by its 195 members as well as technical and operational support.

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Anthony Coley, the director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Justice Department, announced the move in a Thursday evening tweet.

Priti Patel, a member of British Parliament and the country's Home secretary, explained that the suspension request was done in accordance with Interpol's rules.

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"Russia's actions are a direct threat to the safety of individuals and to international law enforcement cooperation," she said in the brief statement.

The Justice Department told UPI that it had nothing to add beyond the tweet while Interpol explained that there is no provision in its constitution for the suspension or exclusion of a member country.

"Only the General Assembly, Interpol's supreme governing body comprising representatives from each of its 195 member countries, can decide on issues relating to membership," its press office said in a statement to UPI. "It is therefore not within the purview of the General Secretariat to either accept or refuse, a request for a member country to be suspended or excluded."

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The countries made the move as they seek to further isolate and punish Russia diplomatically as it continues to wage war against Ukraine.

Democratic countries have already imposed a slew of wide-reaching sanctions against Moscow and are considering more, including banning the importation of oil from the resource-flush nation. They have also armed Kyiv in its fight against Russian forces.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly said the sanctions are not enough and while stopping short of asking a third nation to fight Russia within his forces, he has asked for a no-fly zone to be created over the nation -- a move if enacted that the nuclear-armed Russia states is tantamount to a declaration of war.

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal earlier Sunday said he has signed an official appeal to the G7 nations of Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the United States to terminate the memberships of Russia and Belarus in the IMF and the World Bank.

"The two countries violated their commitments and turned their polices to war," he said in a post to Telegram.

The letter sent to the seven nations refers to articles in the IMF's agreement and statutes of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development that were violated by Russia when it invaded Ukraine nearly two weeks ago and by Belarus for aiding it in doing so.

"No action contradicts the obligation to maintain stability and orderly economic conditions like war," the prime minister said. "That is why the IMF gives member countries the right to respond appropriately to the situation and defend their mandate.

"We ask for the support of the Group of Seven countries in initiating and implementing the procedure for suspending the operations of the IMF and the World Bank Group with Russia and Belarus and terminating their membership in these organizations."

The announcements came a day after the IMF said in a statement that the war in Ukraine has already produced "very serious" economic consequences, including causing commodity prices to surge, while the sanctions against Russia "will also have a substantial impact on the global economy and financial markets, with significant spillovers to other countries."

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Since Russia launched its attack against Ukraine nearly two weeks ago, more than 1.5 million Ukrainians have fled the country, 364 civilians have been killed and another 759 injured.

The IMF said Ukraine has already sustained "substantial" economic damage with sea ports and airports bombed along with bridges and roads destroyed.

"While it is very difficult to assess financing needs precisely at this state, it is already clear that Ukraine will face significant recovery and reconstruction costs," it said.

On Wednesday, the World Bank said in a joint statement with the IMF that it was preparing a $3 billion aid package for Kyiv.

The International Criminal Court has also opened an investigation into potential war crimes committed by Russia against Ukrainians.

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