|Type||Independence treaty / Peace treaty|
|Drafted||13 February 1990|
|Signed||12 September 1990|
|Location||Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union|
|Effective||15 March 1991|
The Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (German : Vertrag über die abschließende Regelung in Bezug auf Deutschland ), or the Two Plus Four Agreement (German : Zwei-plus-Vier-Vertrag; short: German Treaty), was negotiated in 1990 between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic (the eponymous Two), and the Four Powers which occupied Germany at the end of World War II in Europe: France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the treaty the Four Powers renounced all rights they held in Germany, allowing a united Germany to become fully sovereign the following year. On the other hand, Germany agreed to confirm its acceptance of its existing border with Poland, and accepted that the borders of Germany after unification would correspond only to the territories then administered by West and East Germany, with the exclusion and renunciation of any other territorial claims (e.g., to the Kaliningrad oblast).
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium and Liechtenstein. It is one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages that are most similar to the German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
West Germany was the informal name for the Federal Republic of Germany, a country in Central Europe, in the period between its formation on 23 May 1949 and German reunification on 3 October 1990. During this Cold War period, the western portion of Germany was part of the Western Bloc. The Federal Republic was created during the Allied occupation of Germany after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Its (provisional) capital was the city of Bonn. The Cold War era West Germany is unofficially historically designated the Bonn Republic.
East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic, was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. Commonly described as a communist state in English usage, it described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state." It consisted of territory that was administered and occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II — the Soviet occupation zone of the Potsdam Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR.
On 2 August 1945, the Potsdam Agreement, promulgated at the end of the Potsdam Conference, among other things agreed on the initial terms under which the Allies of World War II would govern Germany. A provisional German–Polish border known as the Oder–Neisse line awarded, in theory within the context of that "provisional border", most of Germany's eastern provinces to Poland and the Soviet Union. Those agreements reached were provisional and the agreement stipulated that the situation 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). Parts of those above-mentioned agreements were burdened with controversy from several sources e.g., Churchill's comment about "stuffing the Polish goose too full" (of German lands). The overall "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. This meant that in some respects (largely, but not only, technical), Germany did not have full national sovereignty. 42–43:
The Potsdam Agreement was the August 1945 agreement between three of the Allies of World War II, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union. It concerned the military occupation and reconstruction of Germany, its borders, and the entire European Theatre of War territory. It also addressed Germany's demilitarisation, reparations and the prosecution of war criminals.
The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 17 July to 2 August 1945. The participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, represented respectively by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman.
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.
Several developments in 1989 and 1990, collectively termed Die Wende and the Peaceful Revolution, led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the SED in the German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany). In the 18 March 1990 national election in the GDR an electoral alliance of parties that favored German reunification via article 23 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany won a plurality. 229–232 :211–214 To achieve unity and full sovereignty, both German states were willing to accept the terms of the Potsdam Agreement that affected Germany. It was then possible for all international parties to negotiate a final settlement.:
The Peaceful Revolution was the process of sociopolitical change that led to the opening of East Germany's borders with the west, the end of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) in the German Democratic Republic and the transition to a parliamentary democracy, which enabled the reunification of Germany in October 1990. This happened through non-violent initiatives and demonstrations. This period of change is also referred to in German as Die Wende.
The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Construction of the Wall was commenced by the German Democratic Republic on 13 August 1961. The Wall cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany, including East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, accompanied by a wide area that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc portrayed the Wall as protecting its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany.
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany, often known in English as the East German Communist Party, was the governing Marxist–Leninist political party of the German Democratic Republic from the country's foundation in October 1949 until its dissolution after the Peaceful Revolution in 1989. The party was established in April 1946.
The Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany was signed in Moscow, Soviet Union, on 12 September 1990, 363 and 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 those regarding the city of Berlin. Upon deposit of the last instrument of ratification, united Germany became fully sovereign on 15 March 1991.:
Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and approximately 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities.
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic became part of the Federal Republic of Germany to form the reunited nation of Germany, as provided by Article 23 of the FRG's then constitution. The end of the unification process is officially referred to as German unity, celebrated each year on 3 October as German Unity Day. Berlin was reunited into a single city, and was once again designated as the capital of united Germany.
In international law, a sovereign state, sovereign country, or simply state, is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood that a sovereign state is neither dependent or non subjected to any other power or state.
The treaty allows Germany to make and belong to alliances, without any foreign influence in its politics. All Soviet forces were to leave Germany by the end of 1994. Before the Soviets withdrew, Germany would only deploy territorial defense units not integrated into the alliance structures. German forces in the rest of Germany were assigned to areas where Soviet troops were stationed. After the Soviets withdrew, the Germans could freely deploy troops in those areas, with the exception of nuclear weapons. For the duration of the Soviet presence, Allied troops would remain stationed in Berlin upon Germany's request.
Germany undertook to reduce its 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. These limits would commence at the time that the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe would enter into force, and the treaty also took note that it was expected that the other participants in the negotiations would "render their contribution to enhancing security and stability in Europe, including measures to limit personnel strengths".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). No foreign armed forces, nuclear weapons, or the carriers for nuclear weapons would be stationed or deployed in six states (the area of Berlin and the former East Germany), making them a permanent Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. The German Army could deploy conventional weapons systems with nonconventional capabilities, provided that they were equipped and designed for a purely conventional role. Germany also agreed to use military force only in accordance with the United Nations Charter.
The German Army is the land component of the armed forces of Germany. The present-day German Army was founded in 1955 as part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr together with the Marine and the Luftwaffe. As of 28 February 2019, the German Army had a strength of 62,194 soldiers.
The German Air Force is the aerial warfare branch of the Bundeswehr, the armed forces of Germany. With a strength of 27,767 personnel, it is the fourth largest air force within the European Union, after the air forces of the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. The German Air Force was founded in 1956 during the era of the Cold War as the aerial warfare branch of the armed forces of then West Germany. After the reunification of West and East Germany in 1990, it integrated parts of the air force of the former German Democratic Republic, which itself had been founded in 1956 as part of the National People's Army. There is no organizational continuity between the current German Air Force and the former Luftwaffe of the Wehrmacht combined forces founded in 1935, which was completely disbanded in 1945/46 after World War II. The term Luftwaffe that is used for both the historic and the current German air force is the German-language generic designation of any air force.
The original Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) was negotiated and concluded during the last years of the Cold War and established comprehensive limits on key categories of conventional military equipment in Europe and mandated the destruction of excess weaponry. The treaty proposed equal limits for the two "groups of states-parties", the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Warsaw Pact. In 2007, Russia "suspended" its participation in the treaty, and on 10 March 2015, citing NATO's de facto breach of the Treaty, Russia formally announced it was "completely" halting its participation in it as of the next day.
Another of the treaty's important provisions was Germany's confirmation of the by now internationally recognised border with Poland, and other territorial changes in Germany that had taken place since 1945, preventing any future claims to lost territory east of the Oder-Neisse line (see also Former eastern territories of Germany) which had historically been part of Germany for centuries before 31 December 1937. The treaty defined the territory of a 'united Germany' as being the territory of East Germany, West Germany and Berlin, prohibiting Germany from making any future territorial claims. Germany also agreed to sign a separate treaty with Poland reaffirming the present common border, binding under international law, effectively relinquishing these territories to Poland. This was done on 14 November 1990 with the signing of the German-Polish Border Treaty.Furthermore, the Federal Republic was required by the treaty to amend its Basic Law so as to be constitutionally prohibited from accepting any application for incorporation into Germany from territories outside the territories of East Germany, West Germany and Berlin.
Although the treaty was signed by West and East Germany as separate sovereign states, it was subsequently ratified by united Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany).
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After the Soviet Union dissolved itself in December 1991, the command unit of the Soviet Group of Soviet Forces in Germany devolved to the Russian Federation. The German government subsequently recognized the Russian Federation's claim to be the continuator state of the Soviet Union, including the right to maintain troops in Germany until the end of 1994. However, with post-Soviet Russia facing severe economic hardship, President Boris Yeltsin ordered Russian troop deployment in Germany to be reduced to levels significantly below those permitted in the Treaty. The last Russian troops left Germany at the end of August in 1994, four months before the treaty deadline.
In the first decade of the 21st century, the Bundeswehr underwent a gradual transformation to a fully professional force. By 2011, the year Germany voluntarily suspended conscription, the Bundeswehr had retained fewer than 250,000 active duty personnel – barely two thirds of the country's treaty limit of 370,000.
The treaty has been alleged to have been violated on a number of occasions. Manoeuvres including NATO troops in Trollenhagen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in the area of the former East Germany have been questioned. [ verification needed ] Under one interpretation of the treaty, only German forces may be deployed in the area of the former East Germany.[ dubious ] In September 2007, France offered Germany joint control over its nuclear arsenal, but the Germans rejected this.
Historian Stephen F. Cohen asserted in 2005 that a commitment was given that NATO would never expand further east,but according to Robert Zoellick, then a US State Department official involved in the Two Plus Four negotiating process, this appears to be a misperception; no formal commitment of the sort was made. On 7 May 2008 the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, in an interview with the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph , stated his view that such a commitment had been made:
The Americans promised that NATO wouldn't move beyond the boundaries of Germany after the Cold War but now half of central and eastern Europe are members, so what happened to their promises? It shows they cannot be trusted.
However, in a 2014 interview Gorbachev reversed himself by saying that the topic of "NATO expansion" as such was "not discussed at all", although he maintained that the decision to expand NATO into the east was a "violation of the spirit of the statements and assurances made to us in 1990".
Some argue that such a commitment was not made during the discussions on German reunification.Allegedly, the issue of expanding NATO into Central and Eastern European states was not on the agenda at that time, since all of them were Warsaw Pact members and most still had substantial Soviet military forces stationed on their soil, and Gorbachev "did not even contemplate seeking a provision that would bar any other Warsaw Pact countries from eventually pursuing membership in NATO". This was rebuked by the National Security Archive in December 2017, which had looked in the declassified record:
The documents show that multiple national leaders were considering and rejecting Central and Eastern European membership in NATO as of early 1990 and through 1991, that discussions of NATO in the context of German unification negotiations in 1990 were not at all narrowly limited to the status of East German territory, and that subsequent Soviet and Russian complaints about being misled about NATO expansion were founded in written contemporaneous memcons and telcons at the highest levels.
The invocation of the supposed non-expansion pledge to justify Russia's annexation of Crimea has been criticized by NATO.
The two-plus-four-treaty had the function of a peace treaty, but it was not called a peace treaty. This could not be in their interest "for financial reasons", according to the German State Secretary Friedrich Voss at that time. The reason was the open question of German reparations for World War II, especially in the case of Greece. Today Berlin argues that the Greeks should have made their demands in 1990.
| Territorial evolution of Germany |
in the 20th century
Kaliningrad Oblast, often referred to as the Kaliningrad Region in English, or simply Kaliningrad, is a federal subject of the Russian Federation that is located on the coast of the Baltic Sea. As an oblast, its constitutional status is equal to each of the other 85 federal subjects. Its administrative center is the city of Kaliningrad, formerly known as Königsberg. It is the only Baltic port in the Russian Federation that remains ice-free in winter. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 941,873.
The Warsaw Pact, formally known as the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, was a collective defence treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland between the Soviet Union and seven Eastern Bloc satellite states of Central and Eastern Europe in May 1955, during the Cold War. The Warsaw Pact was the military complement to the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CoMEcon), the regional economic organization for the socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe. The Warsaw Pact was created in reaction to the integration of West Germany into NATO in 1955 per the London and Paris Conferences of 1954, but it is also considered to have been motivated by Soviet desires to maintain control over military forces in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. The historiography of the conflict began between 1946 and 1947. The Cold War began to de-escalate after the Revolutions of 1989. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 was the end of the Cold War. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.
START I was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. The treaty was signed on 31 July 1991 and entered into force on 5 December 1994. The treaty barred its signatories from deploying more than 6,000 nuclear warheads atop a total of 1,600 inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and bombers. START negotiated the largest and most complex arms control treaty in history, and its final implementation in late 2001 resulted in the removal of about 80 percent of all strategic nuclear weapons then in existence. Proposed by United States President Ronald Reagan, it was renamed START I after negotiations began on the second START treaty.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was an arms control treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty on 8 December 1987. The United States Senate approved the treaty on 27 May 1988, and Reagan and Gorbachev ratified it on 1 June 1988.
The nuclear arms race was an arms race competition for supremacy in nuclear warfare between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies during the Cold War. During this period, in addition to the American and Soviet nuclear stockpiles, other countries developed nuclear weapons, though none engaged in warhead production on nearly the same scale as the two superpowers.
The military history of the Soviet Union began in the days following the 1917 October Revolution that brought the Bolsheviks to power. In 1918 the new government formed the Red Army, which then defeated its various internal enemies in the Russian Civil War of 1917–22. The years 1918–21 saw defeats for the Red Army in the Polish–Soviet War (1919–21) and in independence wars for Estonia (1918–20), Latvia (1918–20) and Lithuania (1918–19). The Red Army invaded Finland ; fought the Battles of Khalkhin Gol of May–September 1939 against Japan and its client state Manchukuo; it was deployed when the Soviet Union, in agreement with Nazi Germany, took part in the invasion of Poland in September 1939, and occupied the Baltic States, Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. In World War II the Red Army became a major military force in the defeat of Nazi Germany and conquered Manchuria. After the war, it occupied East Germany and many nations in central and eastern Europe, which became satellite states in the Soviet bloc.
The OTR-23 Oka was a mobile theatre ballistic missile deployed by the Soviet Union near the end of the Cold War to replace the obsolete SS-1C 'Scud B'. It carried the GRAU index 9K714 and was assigned the NATO reporting name SS-23 Spider. The introduction of the Oka significantly strengthened Soviet theatre nuclear capabilities as its range and accuracy allowed it not only to strike hardened NATO targets such as airfields, nuclear delivery systems, and command centers, but moving targets as well. It also had a fast reaction time, being able to fire in approximately five minutes, and was nearly impossible to intercept, thereby allowing it to penetrate defenses.
Although Germany has the technical capability to produce weapons of mass destruction, since World War II it has generally refrained from producing those weapons. However, Germany participates in the NATO nuclear weapons sharing arrangements and trains for delivering United States nuclear weapons.
This is a timeline of the main events of the Cold War, a state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc and powers in the Eastern Bloc.
The Cold War period of 1985–1991 began with the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev was a revolutionary leader for the USSR, as he was the first to promote liberalization of the political landscape (Glasnost) and capitalist elements into the economy (Perestroika); prior to this, the USSR had been strictly prohibiting liberal reform and maintained an inefficient command economy. The USSR, despite facing massive economic difficulties, was involved in a costly arms race with the United States under President Ronald Reagan. Regardless, the USSR began to crumble as liberal reforms proved difficult to handle and capitalist changes to the economy were badly instituted and caused major problems. The Cold War came to an end when the last war of Soviet occupation ended in Afghanistan, the Berlin Wall came down in Germany, and a series of mostly peaceful revolutions swept the Soviet Bloc states of eastern Europe in 1989.
World War III is a 1998 German alternate history television pseudo-documentary, directed by Robert Stone and distributed by ZDF. An English version, in collaboration with TLC, was made as well and aired in May 1999. It depicts what might have transpired if, following the overthrow of Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet troops, under orders from a new hard-line regime, had opened fire on demonstrators in Berlin in the fall of 1989 and precipitated World War III. The film mixes real footage of world leaders and archive footage of combat exercises and news events, with newly shot footage of citizens, soldiers and political staff.
The territorial changes of Germany include all changes in the borders and territory of Germany from its formation in 1871 to the present. Modern Germany was formed in 1871 when Otto von Bismarck unified most of the German states, with the notable exception of Austria, into the German Empire. After the First World War, Germany lost about 10% of its territory to its neighbours and the Weimar Republic was formed. This republic included territories to the east of today's German borders.
During World War II, the Soviet Union occupied and annexed several countries effectively handed over by Nazi Germany in the secret Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939. These included the eastern regions of Poland, as well as Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, part of eastern Finland and eastern Romania. Apart from the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and post-war division of Germany, the USSR also occupied and annexed Carpathian Ruthenia from Czechoslovakia in 1945.
NATO–Russian relations, relations between the NATO military alliance and the Russian Federation were established in 1991 within the framework of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. In 1994, Russia joined the Partnership for Peace program, and since that time, NATO and Russia have signed several important agreements on cooperation. According to Vladimir Putin, he proposed the idea of Russia joining NATO to President Bill Clinton in 2000 during a visit to Moscow, to which Clinton responded that he "didn't mind".
The Oder–Neisse line is the basis of the international border between Germany and Poland. It runs mainly along the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers and meets the Baltic Sea in the north, just west of the ports of Szczecin and Świnoujście.
The Treaty on Relations Between the USSR and GDR was a treaty between the Soviet Union and German Democratic Republic, commonly known as East Germany, signed on 20 September 1955. The treaty became the legal basis for the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, and its successor, the Western Group of Forces to maintain its presence in Germany following the end of the Soviet Occupation.
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