Gromyko, Andrei Andreyevich [key], 1909–89, Soviet diplomat. A member of the Communist party from 1931, he entered (1939) the diplomatic service, rising rapidly to become Soviet ambassador to the United States (1943–46) and chief permanent Soviet delegate to the United Nations (1946–48). He was (1952–53) ambassador to Great Britain. In 1956, Gromyko was elected to the central committee of the Communist party. He became foreign minister in 1957, maintaining his position until 1985 despite changes in the leadership in the USSR and in foreign policy. He became a member of the Politburo in 1973. In the early 1970s he was active in preparing the summit talks between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and in drawing up the nonaggression pact with West Germany. With the arrival of Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985, he was promoted to the largely honorific position of Soviet president and was replaced as foreign minister by Eduard Shevardnadze. He was forced out of the presidency in 1988 and removed from the central committee in 1989 in a series of party purges.
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