Interpol Reviewing 'Red Notice' Request for Yanukovych's Arrest

Image: Yanukovych
A poster with a photo of fugitive Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the capital Kiev and went into hiding after months of protests against his government, is seen fixed onto a barricade in central Kiev, Ukraine on Feb. 27.Marko Drobnjakovic / AP

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Interpol is reviewing a request by Ukrainian authorities to arrest ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, the international police agency said Thursday.

The so-called "Red Notice," or international wanted persons alert, was received on Wednesday and called for Yanukovych to be held on charges that include abuse of power and murder.

Interpol, based in Lyon, France, said in a statement that it was assessing the request to determine whether it conformed with the law-enforcement agency's constitution and rules.

All 190 Interpol member countries have been informed of the review, it added.

A Red Notice is a way to inform member countries that an arrest warrant has been issued, but is not an international arrest warrant. Interpol cannot force any member country to arrest a person in a Red Notice; national police officials must make the arrest.

Interpol has seven other international notices, including an Orange Notice which warns of imminent threats to safety and a Yellow Notice, used to help locate missing persons.

The announcement from Interpol came hours after Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart for the second time in as many days to discuss the simmering situation in Ukraine. President Barack Obama also held a news conference on Thursday to address the crisis, saying a "path to de-escalation" exists but that the United States and the international community believe borders cannot "be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders."

—Elizabeth Chuck