Nearly two days after Russian envoy Alexander Kadakin wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) complaining about cash crunch following demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1,000 notes, MEA on Thursday said banks have been instructed to allow foreign diplomats to withdraw money on a priority basis. In a statement to the media, the MEA said, “Foreign Secretary had a very detailed and constructive meeting with Dean of Diplomatic Corps today. We hope the missions will bear with the temporary inconvenience arising out of demonetisation.”
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“Finance ministry as a consequence is asked to issue directives to banks to allow embassy officials with IDs to withdraw money on priority,” the statement added.
Russia had lodged a strong protest over cash shortage and threatened retaliatory action after it said demonetisation has affected the functioning of its embassy here. It had asked the MEA to intervene to get restrictions on cash withdrawals by Russian diplomats lifted. Some retaliatory options included restriction on the cash withdrawals for Indian diplomats posted in Russia, the official indicated.
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There are approximately 200 staffers in Russian diplomatic mission in the national capital. Russia is not the first one to complain about the demonetization-induced restrictions. Earlier, the Dean of Diplomatic Corps had also raised the issue with the External Affairs Ministry. It is also understood that some other countries like Ukraine and Kazakhstan have also raised the issue with the ministry.