Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany


Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany

The Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany, (or the Two Plus Four Agreement) [German: "Zwei-plus-Vier-Vertrag"] was negotiated in 1990 between the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), the German Democratic Republic (GDR), and the Four Powers which occupied Germany at the end of World War II in Europe: France, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the Soviet Union (USSR).

Background

On 2 August 1945, the Potsdam Agreement was issued at the end of the Potsdam Conference. Among other things, it agreed on the initial terms under which the Allies of World War II would govern Germany and the provisional German-Polish border known as the Oder-Neisse line. The agreements reached were provisional ones that would be finalised by "a peace settlement for Germany to be accepted by the Government of Germany when a government adequate for the purpose is established" (Potsdam Agreement 1.3.1). The "German Question" became one of the salient and crucial issues of the long-running Cold War, and until it ended in the late 1980s, little progress had been made in the establishment of a single government of Germany adequate for the purpose of agreeing to a final settlement.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall the German people and the German governments of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) (the government of West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (DDR) (the government of East Germany) made it clear that they wished to form a united democratic German state, and that to achieve unity and full sovereignty, they were willing to accept the terms of the Potsdam Agreement that affected Germany. It was then possible for all the parties to negotiate a final settlement as envisioned in the Potsdam Agreement.

The Treaty

The Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany was signed in Moscow, Russia, on 12 September 1990, and that paved the way for German reunification on 3 October 1990.

Under the terms of the treaty, the Four Powers renounced all rights they formerly held in Germany, including in regard to the city of Berlin. As a result, the reunited country became fully sovereign on 15 March 1991. All Soviet troops were to leave Germany by the end of 1994. Germany agreed to limit its combined armed forces to no more than 370,000 personnel, no more than 345,000 of whom were to be in the Army and the Air Force (Luftwaffe). Germany also reaffirmed its renunciation of the manufacture, possession of, and control over nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and in particular, that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty would continue to apply in full to the unified Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany - the FRG). Also, no foreign armed forces, or nuclear weapons, or the carriers for nuclear weapons would be stationed in former East Germany (or deployed there), making it a permanent Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.

Another of the treaty's important terms was Germany's confirmation of the internationally recognized border with Poland, and other territorial changes that Germany had undergone since 1945, preventing any future claims to territory east of the Oder-Neisse line (see also former German territories east of the Oder-Neisse line). Germany also agreed to sign a separate treaty with Poland reaffirming the present common border. This was done on 14 November 1990 with the signing of the German-Polish Border Treaty (1990).

Although the treaty was signed by the western and eastern German states as separate entities, it was ratified by the united Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany) as per the terms of the treaty agreement.

ee also

* Council of Foreign Ministers
* Allied Control Council
* Occupation statute
* Petersberg Agreement
* Bonn-Paris conventions
* Germany Treaty
* London and Paris Conferences
* Four Power Agreement on Berlin
* Basic Treaty

Further reading

* [http://usa.usembassy.de/etexts/2plusfour8994e.htm Full Text of the Treaty] (US Embassy in Germany Web site)
* [http://www.ejil.org/journal/Vol2/No1/art2-01.html Legal Aspects of the Unification of the Two German States] Academy of European Law online, 1990-2004 European Journal of International Law, European University Institute

Footnotes


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