Moscow to summon Indian envoy, protest RBI’s withdrawal limit

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Russian Embassy in New Delhi.
Russian Embassy in New Delhi.

Russia, India’s oldest ally, has threatened to register a diplomatic protest over the NDA government’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

Stating that it has affected their embassy operations in Delhi, Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin in a letter to the government said that if the same move was replicated by Russia, then 50,000 roubles would not be adequate to pay for a dinner, forget running an embassy.

Moscow said it may summon the Indian envoy this week and register a protest over the RBI’s humorous Rs 50,000-a week limit.

Kadakin in his letter said the spending limit set by the government was hardly inadequate to take care of the embassy’s expenditure. How can we function sans cash? he asked.

Describing the control on withdrawals as a violation of international charters, he said if the troubles are not sorted out, we will have no recourse but to inform the issue to Moscow and consider imposing similar curbs on Indian diplomats in Russia.

The Union External Affairs Ministry has not made a single comment, but last heard they were waiting for an inter-ministerial task force’s recommendations to look into the issue.