Russia has threatened to take “counter steps” and lodge a diplomatic protest over the Indian government move to ban big currency notes, which they say has hit their embassy’s operations in Delhi, Russian government sources have told an Indian TV channel.

Sources said that Ambassador Alexander Kadakin is waiting for a reply to his letter written to the Ministry of External Affairs on December 2. Moscow, say sources, may summon the Indian envoy this week and lodge a strong protest over the Rs. 50,000 withdrawal limit imposed by the Reserve Bank of India on their spending.

In his letter to the Ministry of External Affairs, Kadakin has said the spending limit set by the government is “totally inadequate for operational expenses”. “How can such a big embassy in Delhi function without cash?” asked the envoy.

Russian government sources have described the curbs as “a violation of international charters”.

The Foreign Ministry has not officially commented yet but sources  said that they are waiting for the recommendations of an inter-ministerial task force that was set up to look into the problems being faced by embassies and NRIs.