MEA appoints Vinay Kumar as new ambassador to Russia

Vinay Kumar, a seasoned diplomat who served as India’s envoy in hotspots such as Afghanistan and Myanmar in recent years, was on Tuesday named as the new ambassador to Russia.

Vinay Kumar, a 1992-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, served as the ambassador to Myanmar since late 2021. (Photo from X)

Kumar, an officer of the 1992 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), has been the ambassador to Myanmar since late 2021. He will replace Pavan Kapoor, recently appointed the new secretary (West) in the external affairs ministry, in Russia.

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A statement from the external affairs ministry announcing Kumar’s new appointment said he is expected to take up the assignment shortly.

Kumar, a graduate of IIT-Kharagpur, served as India’s envoy in Kabul from 2018-20. He also did a stint as joint secretary (South) in the external affairs ministry and served in India’s permanent mission to the United Nations in New York.

Moscow, along with Washington, London, Tokyo and Canberra, is among the top postings for an Indian diplomat and Kumar will be responsible for steering India’s relations with Russia at a delicate juncture. India has faced considerable pressure from the West over its stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine while working behind the scenes to help end the conflict.

Russia remains one of the main suppliers of defence equipment and civilian nuclear technology to India and has also emerged as a key provider of energy in the past two years.

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