Sonia condoles death of Russian Ambassador, terms it personal loss

New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday expressed her deep grief over death of Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin, terming it “a personal loss” to her family.

In a letter to Anatoly V. Kargapolov, Minister-Counsellor, Russian Embassy, she said Kadakin “embodied all the warmth, generosity and steadfastness of the Russian soul” and India was his second homeland.

“I am deeply grieved to learn of the passing away of His Excellency Ambassador Alexander Kadakin.

“His large-hearted personality, his deep love for India and his ability to strike up a real rapport with a wide cross-section of Indians won him countless friends in our country, even as superb diplomatic skills won him admiration across the political spectrum,” she added.

Gandhi said Kadakin had already spent several decades of his diplomatic career working to strengthen India-Russia relations even before he returned for his second tenure as Ambassador in 2009.

“For him, India, where he breathed his last, was truly a second homeland,” she said, adding her party will always honour the memory of Kadakin who had dedicated his working life to furthering India-Russia relations, and “achieved so much in this regard”.

Sonia Gandhi said former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi held Kadakin in high esteem.

“For me and my family, Alexander Kadakin’s death is a personal loss. Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi held him in high esteem and valued his friendship. May he rest in peace,” she said.

Kadakin died here on Thursday following a brief illness. He was 67.