The US media reported that investigations into Russian “meddling” in the US elections had widened to investigate efforts of Russian agents to use social media to sow social and political divisions in American society. Facebook and Twitter reportedly briefed Congressional investigators on this.
 
In early September, Russia was incensed by a US demand that it close down the Russian Consulate in San Francisco and trade missions in Washington and New York. Russia argued that this action went beyond reciprocating the limits on personnel in US diplomatic missions in Russia (see RR, 07/17). President Putin announced that Russia would legally challenge US actions, particularly the seizure of Russian-owned diplomatic property. The spat was soon overtaken by larger international issues on the US-Russia agenda.
 
Dialogue at various levels continued in a relatively low-key manner, including those on bilateral issues causing friction (including the diplomatic missions) and on strategic stability. Secretary of State Tillerson and Russian FM Lavrov met or spoke on the telephone at least six times in September, discussing (besides bilateral relations) North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine. A number of nuances emerged in the US-Russia engagement on these issues (following section). 

 

 September 30, 2017

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About the Author

Born in 1955, Ambassador Raghavan holds a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Physics and a B.E. in Electronics & Communications Engineering. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1979. From 1979 to 2000, he had diplomatic assignments in USSR, Poland, United Kingdom, Vietnam and South Africa, interspersed with assignments in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi. From 2000 to 2004, he was Joint Secretary in the Indian Prime Minister's Office dealing with Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Energy, Space, Defence and National Security. Thereafter, he was Ambassador of India to Czech Republic (2004 - 2007) and to Ireland (2007 - 2011).

He was Chief Coordinator of the BRICS Summit in New Delhi (March 2012) and Special Envoy of the Government of India to Sudan and South Sudan (2012-13). Ambassador Raghavan conceptualized and piloted the creation of the Development Partnership Administration (DPA) in MEA, which implements and monitors India’s economic partnership programs in developing countries, with an annual budget of $1-1.5 billion. He headed DPA in 2012-13. From March 2013 to January 2014, he oversaw the functioning of the Administration, Security, Information Technology and other related Divisions of MEA. Since October 2013, he was also Secretary [Economic Relations] in MEA, steering India’s bilateral and multilateral external economic engagement. Ambassador Raghavan retired from the Indian Foreign Service in January 2016, after serving from 2014 as Ambassador of India to Russia. Since September 2016, he is Convenor of the National Security Advisory Board of the Government of India.

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