Yuri Dubinin, the Soviet Union's ambassador to the United States during much of the turbulent 1980s' perestroika period, has died at age 83.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Dubinin died Friday, but did not give a cause of death.

Dubinin became ambassador to the U.S. in 1986 after serving a short stint as the Soviet envoy to the United Nations. He stayed in the ambassador post until becoming ambassador to France in 1990. After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Dubinin was a Russian deputy foreign minister from 1994-96.

In his Washington post, Dubinin described himself as a "popularizer of perestroika," the reform efforts of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Dubinin also oversaw opening up the Russian embassy to news conferences under Gorbachev's initiatives.