The Soviet Union has lost one of its toughest-negotiating diplomats, a man who survived five Kremlin leadership changes and weathered the dramatic turns of East-West relations. It was announced Monday that former Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko had died Sunday. ``He was part of our history, with all its good sides and all its bad sides,'' said Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady Gerasimov, adding that Gromyko recently had been criticized for emphasizing relations with the United States at the expense of ties with other countries.
During his 50-year career, Gromyko helped forge the Soviet-American World War II alliance, draft the UN Charter, and superpower arms cuts. He served as Soviet ambassador to the United States, Britain, and the United Nations.