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'Expect you would reciprocate': Russian envoy presents credentials to President Halimah, seeks to build cordial ties

SINGAPORE — Russia's new Ambassador to Singapore Nikolay Kudashev presented his credentials to President Halimah Yacob on Tuesday (April 19), and later remarked that he expects Singapore "would reciprocate" his efforts to establish friendly bilateral relations.

Russia's Ambassador to Singapore Nikolay Kudashev speaks with President Halimah Yacob after he presented his credentials to her on April 19, 2022 at the Istana.

Russia's Ambassador to Singapore Nikolay Kudashev speaks with President Halimah Yacob after he presented his credentials to her on April 19, 2022 at the Istana.

  • Russia's new Ambassador to Singapore Nikolay Kudashev presented his credentials to President Halimah Yacob on Tuesday
  • This is a formality when any envoy takes up a post in a foreign country
  • In March, Mr Kudashev was critical of Singapore's decision to impose financial sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine
  • In a Facebook post, he said he looks forward to building friendly ties here and hopes Singapore "would reciprocate"

SINGAPORE — Russia's new Ambassador to Singapore Nikolay Kudashev presented his credentials to President Halimah Yacob on Tuesday (April 19), and later remarked that he expects Singapore "would reciprocate" his efforts to establish friendly bilateral relations.

The presentation of credentials — a formal diplomatic act where an envoy of a foreign country seeks credence to speak on behalf of his or her home country — was announced by the Russian Embassy here in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

The letter of credentials is usually from the head of state of the posting country, in this case Russia's President Vladimir Putin, addressed to the head of state of the country where the envoy is posted, in this case Mdm Halimah.

The Facebook post, signed off by Mr Kudashev, 64, was addressed to "Dear friends" and concluded: "Looking forward to establishing friendly and cordial relations. Expect you would reciprocate.”

Looking forward to establishing friendly and cordial relations. Expect you would reciprocate.
Russia's new Ambassador to Singapore Nikolay Kudashev

In a separate Facebook post on Tuesday, Mdm Halimah noted that both Mr Kudashev and Thailand’s ambassador Chutintorn Gongsakdi had presented their credentials to her.

Said Mdm Halimah: “I welcomed them to Singapore and wished them a productive tenure here.”

Mr Kudashev, who took over from his predecessor Andrey Tatarinov, on March 11 criticised Singapore’s decision to join the West in imposing sanctions on Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine.

He also noted, in an interview with Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, that Singapore was the only South-east Asian nation to impose sanctions against Russia, and suggested that it would have been more prudent to focus on issues concerning the region directly.

"We believe this decision to be a mistake, to be a wrong one, which runs counter to the development of bilateral ties, runs counter to strengthening regional co-operation," said Mr Kudashev, who was Ambassador-Designate to Singapore at the time.

On March 5, Singapore announced that it was imposing financial measures targeted at designated Russian banks, entities and activities in Russia, as well as fundraising activities benefiting the Russian government.

The Government also said it was imposing export controls on items that can be “directly used as weapons to inflict harm on or to subjugate the Ukrainians”, as well as items that can contribute to offensive cyber operations.

The sanctions and restrictions against Russia come in response to its invasion of Ukraine, which started on Feb 24.

According to a summary supplied by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Kudashev is a career diplomat who joined Russia’s diplomatic service in 1981 after graduating from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the then Union of Soviet Social Republics (USSR) that year.

Since then, Mr Kudashev held various positions within foreign missions of the USSR, before its collapse in the early 1990s, and Russia.

He was posted to the USSR Embassy in Singapore from 1981 to 1985, and subsequently to Manila from 1992 to 1996, and to New Delhi from 1999 to 2005.

Thereafter, he was appointed ambassador to the Philippines from 2010 to 2015, and was concurrently accredited to Palau, Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Prior to his latest assignment, he served as ambassador to India from 2017 to February 2022.

Mr Kudashev holds the diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. He is married with one daughter, and also speaks Chinese and English.

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russia foreign affairs Nikolay Kudashev

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