The Soviet Union and West Germany signed a new trade treaty Dec 31 at the Foreign Ministry, Bonn, West Germany.
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Background: The Soviet Union and West Germany signed a new trade treaty Dec 31 at the Foreign Ministry, Bonn, West Germany. The new agreement provides for trade each way amounting to GBP76,500,000 annually over the next three years.
It was signed by West German State Secretary von Scherpenberg and the Soviet Ambassador, Andreg Smirnov. The expiring agreement had quotas amounting to only GBP50,000,000 annually - they were not fulfilled.
Following the agreement, West and East Germany agreed in Berlin to continue inter-zonal trade from Jan 1, 1961. Notice to terminate the inter-zonal agreement was given by Bonn on Sept 30, 1960.
West Germany had said that the restriction on free movement of West Germans in East Berlin imposed by the East German Government in early September would have to be revoked if a new trade agreement was to be signed. East Germany, however, claimed that separate negotiations would have to be held with West Germany and the Berlin Senate.
While the East German Government refused to consider what it called political issues, West Germany and West Berlin had no intention of carrying on separate negotiations. Reports said that the new agreement means that both sides have come to terms without losing face. No details were given of how the controversial issue of traffic guarantees for West Berlin was finally settled.