What was the importance of Andrei Gromyko to the Cold War?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Andrei Gromyko was the leader of the Soviet delegation to the conference at Dunbarton Oaks, where the rough outlines for what would become known as the United Nations were sketched out. Later, he negotiated with other Allied leaders to gain their approval for Soviet control of Poland in the wake of the war. As the Cold War intensified, Gromyko became the chief negotiator on Nikita Khrushchev's behalf, meeting with President John F. Kennedy to personally assure the US leader that the missiles deployed in Cuba were not offensive in nature. Gromyko was also instrumental in formulating the Brezhnev Doctrine, which asserted the USSR's policy of intervening to crush anti-communist revolutions in Eastern Europe, and he urged extensive military aid to communist-inspired revolutions around the world, particularly in Angola. Despite this hawkish approach, it was also Gromyko who met personally with President Richard Nixon to conlude the SALT I talks, which, for the first time, signalled the intent of both parties to draw back their nuclear arsenals, as well as to scrap the antiballistic missile systems that threatened to upset the strategic missile balance on which the mutual policy of detente depended. Later, Gromyko helped negotiate and signed the SALT II agreement with US President Jimmy Carter. It was also Gromyko, who was enormously influential in Soviet internal politics, who suggested that the reform minded Mikhail Gorbachev replace Konstanin Chernenko as general secretary of the Communist party. 

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