Saran, currently the high commissioner of India to Bangladesh, will replace PS Raghavan in Moscow.
"Pankaj Saran, an Indian Foreign Service officer of the 1982 batch, who is currently the high commissioner of India to Bangladesh, has been appointed as the next ambassador of India to the Russian Federation," an external affairs ministry statement said.
"He is expected to take up his assignment shortly," it added.
During his diplomatic career, Saran has served in Indian missions in Moscow, Washington, Cairo and Geneva. He earlier served in Bangladesh from 1989 to 1992 as the first secretary (political).
In New Delhi, he served in the external affairs ministry in the East Europe Division, as deputy secretary in the Foreign Secretary's Office and as joint secretary (north) while heading the division dealing with India's relations with Nepal and Bhutan.
He also served twice on deputation to the Prime Minister's Office, first from 1995 to 1999 as director dealing largely with economic, energy and science and technology issues, and as joint secretary from 2007 to 2012.
In the latter capacity, he dealt with external affairs, defence, national security, atomic energy and space sectors.
Saran did his Master's in economics from the Delhi School of Economics before joining the IFS.
He is married to Preeti Saran, currently India's ambassador to Vietnam.