Russian ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, passed away here this morning following a brief illness. He was 68.
The Russian embassy said in a statement that Kadakin, who started his diplomatic career in 1971, was ‘closely associated with promoting India-Russia relations’.
"He passed away in a New Delhi hospital after a brief illness," the statement read.
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the death of Kadakin.
“Deepest condolences on sad demise of Russia's Ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin who spent long years here and was true friend of India,” the President said in a tweet.
"Deeply saddened. He was an admirable diplomat, a great friend of India and a fluent Hindi speaker who tirelessly contributed to stronger India-Russia ties," the Prime Minister tweeted.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup also paid homage to the departed diplomat.
"In Kadakin, we lost a valued friend who nurtured India-Russia relationship for many decades as a distinguished Russian diplomat," Swarup said.
Kadakin had been the Russian ambassador to India since 2009. Kadakin had served as the Russian envoy to India between 1999 and 2004 as well.
Kadakin was born in Chisinau in then USSR in 1949. He graduated with honours from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1972.
He began his diplomatic career as a third secretary at the Russian Embassy in India in 1972.