Poletyka, Petro

Poletyka, Petro (Полетика, Петро; Pierre de Poletica), b 27 August 1778 in Vasylkiv, near Kyiv, d 7 February 1849 in Saint Petersburg. Career diplomat; son of Ivan Poletyka and brother of Mykhailo Poletyka. In 1798 he became a translator in the Russian College of Foreign Affairs. Later he served as a chancellor in the Russian diplomatic missions in Stockholm (1802–3) and Naples (1803–5), adviser to the missions in Philadelphia (1809–11), Rio de Janeiro (1811–12), Madrid (1812–14), and London (1816–17), and Russian special envoy and minister plenipotentiary in the United States of America (1818–22). He was the minister who negotiated and signed the 1824 Russian-US agreement regarding the Russian American Company and the Russian-US (1824) and Russian-British (1825) conventions on trade, fishing, and navigation in the Pacific. In 1825 he was appointed a privy councillor and senator. Poletyka is the author of A Sketch of the Internal Conditions of the United States and Their Political Relations with Europe (Baltimore 1826). Excerpts from his memoirs of 1778–1849 were published in Russkii arkhiv (vol 3, 1885). He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia in 1822. A mountain on the British Columbia–Alaska border was named after Poletyka in 1923, and Michael Huculak’s book about him was published in Vancouver in 1967.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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