Patolichev Retires After 27 Years as Trade Minister
MOSCOW (AP) _ Nikolai S. Patolichev has retired after serving as foreign trade minister for 27 years, the official Tass news agency said Saturday. It was the third change reported in the Soviet economic leadership in a week.
Boris I. Aristov, 60, a deputy foreign minister and former ambassador to Poland, was named to replace Patolichev.
Tass said the 77-year-old Patolichev was retiring for health reasons. No other details were given, but there were rumors that he had been ill.
Aristov has no known background in foreign trade. He became a deputy foreign minister in July 1983 after serving as Moscow’s ambassador to Poland since 1978.
That period covered the creation of Solidarity as the only free union in the Soviet bloc following nation-wide strikes in August 1980, and the crushing of Solidarity when the Polish government imposed martial law in December 1981.
Last Monday, the state planning chief, Nikolai K. Baibakov, 74, was replaced after 20 years in the post by Nikolai V. Talyzin, a deputy premier and representative to the economic bloc Comecon.
On Friday, Viktor S. Fedorov, minister for oil refining and petrochemicals since 1965, retired at age 73. He was replaced by Nikolai Lemayev, a first deputy minister since March and formerly a refining engineer.