Alexander Kadakin was one of the longest serving diplomats in India and served in several posts in the earlier Soviet and current Russian embassy in New Delhi during his career
New Delhi: Russian ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin passed away on Thursday after a brief illness, a statement from the Russian embassy said.
One of the longest serving diplomats in India who served in several posts in the earlier Soviet and current Russian embassy in New Delhi during his career, Kadakin was a familiar face at most official and social functions in the Indian capital.
“With deep regret and profound sorrow the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of India informs that Alexander Kadakin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India, passed away on January 26 in one of New Delhi central hospitals after a brief illness," the statement from the Russian embassy said.
“He held the position of the Head of the Russian diplomatic mission in New Delhi from November 2009. Starting from 1971 the entire diplomatic career of Alexander Kadakin was closely associated with promoting Russian-Indian relations," it added.
News of Kadakin’s demise was first put out by Indian foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup.
“India loses a dear friend... #RIPAmbassadorAlexander Kadakin, Russian Amb to India since 2009 who passed away early today morning," Swarup said in a twitter post. “In Amb Kadakin we lost a valued friend who nurtured #IndiaRussia relationship for many decades as distinguished Russian diplomat," Swarup added.
Prime minister Narendra Modi also condoled Kadakin’s demise. “Deeply saddened at the passing away of Ambassador Alexander Kadakin," Modi said in a Twitter post.
“He was an admirable diplomat, a great friend of India & a fluent Hindi speaker who tirelessly contributed to stronger India-Russia ties," Modi added.
News of Kadakin’s death came as India was celebrating Republic Day, the highlight of which is a military parade in the heart of the Indian capital. Much of the military hardware on display at the parade is of Russian origin though in recent years India has diversified its defence procurements—buying state of the art equipment from countries like the US, Israel and France—which has been an irritant in ties.
India has been warily watching Russia lining up with China on a number of issues, including the rather belligerent stance on the South China Sea. In the past many months, Moscow has also been seen as extending a hand of friendship to Pakistan, India’s arch rival in South Asia.
In September, Russia and Pakistan conducted their first-ever military exercises. This did not go down well in New Delhi given that the exercises took place within days of a terrorist attack in Uri for which India blamed Pakistan-based terrorists.
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