Stefan Andrei, a foreign minister under communism who decreased Romania's dependency on the Soviet Union, has died. He was 83.

Andrei died Sunday at home, according to a foreign ministry official who declined to be named because she was not authorized to report the death.

Andrei was named foreign minister in 1978 and developed ties with African and Asian countries which gave former Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu a reputation as a maverick among Warsaw Pact leaders.

Elena Ceausescu, Ceausescu's powerful wife, reportedly disliked Andrei and appointed a loyalist to replace him as foreign minister in 1985. He was deputy prime minister from 1987 to 1989.

Andrei served 2 ½ years in prison after communism ended for helping to suppress the bloody revolt in which more than 1,000 people died.

He is survived by his wife Violeta, an actress, and a son.