All Posts (104)

The outgoing Obama Administration whipped up an anti-Russia fervour in USA by declaring new sanctions against Russia on December 30 and then ordering the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from USA. This was a response to the alleged Russian interference in the US Presidential elections through hacking and other means. A Congressional hearing was hastily arranged, in which Administration officials claimed to have incontrovertible evidence of Russian culpability (and that of President Putin…

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The Russia-Turkey-Iran initiative for talks in the Kazakh capital Astana between the various stakeholders in the Syrian crisis on January 23 and 24 ended with some agreement between the three sponsors to sustain the fragile ceasefire. Under the agreement, a trilateral monitoring group would be set up to enforce the ceasefire. Further details are yet to be worked out. The statement expressed the joint determination to fight the Islamic State, though Jabhat Fateh al-Sham was not…

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Russian Deputy PM Rogozin led a Russian delegation to the Vibrant Gujarat exposition (January 9-11), in which a number of large Russian companies and two Russian regions participated. Reports mentioned new areas of cooperation were discussed, like diamond-processing, dairy and smart cities.

The significant meeting, however, was that of DPM Rogozin with PM Modi (January 9), particularly in the backdrop of revelations about the Russian engagement with the Taliban in Afghanistan and the…

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The passing away of Russian Ambassador to India, Alexander “Sasha” Kadakin, on January 26, removed from the canvas of the India-Russia relationship a staunch friend of India and a strong votary of the strategic partnership. He held various diplomatic positions in the Russian Embassy in Delhi at various stages in the India-Russia relationship, clocking a total of about 20 years in India. He had therefore an acute understanding of India’s political structures and bureaucratic procedures. As a…

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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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