Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko was a Soviet statesman during the Cold War. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. Gromyko was responsible for many top decisions on Soviet foreign policy until he retired in 1988. In the 1940s Western pundits called him Mr. Nyet, because of his frequent use of the Soviet veto in the UN Security Council.
Gromyko's political career started in 1939 with his employment at the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs. In 1943 Gromyko became the Soviet ambassador to the United States, leaving in 1946 to become the Soviet Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Upon his return to the Soviet Union he became a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and later the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He went on to become the Soviet ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1952.
Gromyko played a direct role in the Cuban Missile Crisis in his role as the Soviet Foreign Minister. Gromyko helped negotiate arms limitations treaties such as the ABM Treaty, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and SALT I and II among others. Under Leonid Brezhnev's leadership Gromyko helped build the policy of détente between the US and the USSR. He supported Mikhail Gorbachev's candidacy for General Secretary in 1985. Gromyko lost his office as foreign minister when Gorbachev became General Secretary, and was instead appointed to the largely ceremonial office of head of state. Gromyko retired from political life in 1988 and died the following year in Moscow.