South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president on Wednesday, edging out a veteran of Russia’s security services who was strongly opposed by the United States, Britain and other European nations.

Kim’s surprise election was seen as a victory for the White House and its European partners, who had lobbied up until the final hours before the vote against Alexander Prokopchuk’s attempts to be named the next president of the policing organization.

The U.S. and others expressed concern that if Russia’s candidate had been elected, that would have led to further Kremlin abuses of Interpol’s red notice system to go after political opponents and fugitive dissidents.