The 25th congress of the Communist party of the USSR met in Moscow from February 24 to March 5 1976. The general secretary of the party Leonid Brezhnev greeted 4,998 Soviet delegates and representatives from 96 foreign countries. Among Communist-ruled nations, only the People's Republic of China and Albania did not send representatives. The congress itself produced few surprises, with the main emphasis placed on the stability of the political and economic situation and the prospects of continued success in the future, Brezhnev declared that the USSR will not invade or fight other countries. Little mention was made of fundamental problems facing the Soviet Union— the slowdown of the rate of economic growth, the low output of agriculture despite heavy investment. The only critical voices raised were those of foreign Communists. French Communist leader Georges Marchais boycotted the congress after criticizing the Soviet Union's suppression of dissidents. A major problem faced Soviet leaders, and one that has been continually evaded was the need to rejuvenate the Politburo. Once again the membership remained virtually unchanged, as did the members' average age of 66. Brezhnev himself was 69. Two new members were elevated to the Politburo, Dmitriy Ustinov and Gregory Romanov, bringing its total number to 16.