Russian diplomat to MEA: No cash for a decent dinner, forget diplomatic business


New Delhi, December 6: In a strong worded letter against snag being caused by cash withdrawal limit imposed by New Delhi on foreign envoys, a Russian diplomat has sent a letter of protest to MEA and referred the restrictions as “a violation of special privileges of diplomats” as per the Vienna Treaty.

Other High commissions that have signed the letter of protest are Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Sudan. As per Economic Times report, the foreign ambassadors have demanded that diplomatic staff be exempted from the withdrawal limit of Rs 50,000 per week.

In his letter to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Alexander Kadakin, Russian ambassador to India wrote: With so little cash, you can’t even have a decent dinner, forget running regular diplomatic business…Please just imagine if we in Moscow mirror this order of SBI (State Bank of India) when 50,000 roubles will not be enough to pay for a decent dinner in a restaurant, not to mention functioning of such a big embassy as ours in New Delhi or India’s in Moscow.

As per an official who spoke to ET, “the Russian embassy’s New Delhi mission has 200 members plus the family members and with the withdrawal limit of Rs 50,000 at hand, one person gets Rs 250 a week with their family. He added, “Such an amount is totally inadequate as regards the embassy’s salary and operational expenditure requirements.”

Kazakhstan recently celebrated its National Day with “difficulty” due to cash withdrawal limits said the official. Several embassies in India are finding it difficult to carry out their diplomatic events.

The MEA is looking for options to solve the issues being faced by diplomats in India.

Recently, Pakistan Embassy had raised the issue and had asked Indian government to intervene and resolve the issues, lest Indian diplomats in Pakistan will face similar restrictions. The Paki High Commission alleged that their officials were not allowed to withdraw their salaries in dollars and were asked for ‘letters of purpose’ for withdrawal. The Paki High commission also pointed that these restrictions are violating the Vienna Convention of 1961.

The Vienna Convention of 1961 is an international treaty and it calls for special privileges of diplomatic missions in host countries in order to ensure the smooth functioning of diplomatic missions across the globe.

Wefornews Bureau

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