• Short Summary

    The Soviet Union and West Germany signed two-year trade and industrial cooperation agreement in Bonn, Wednesday (5 July).

  • Description

    The Soviet Union and West Germany signed two-year trade and industrial cooperation agreement in Bonn, Wednesday (5 July). The pact puts the small but growing trade between the two nations on a contractual basis for the first time in more than eight years.

    The agreement was signed by Soviet Foreign Trade Minister Nikolai Patolichev and West German Economics and Finance Minister Professor Karl Schiller.

    The accord, initialled in April, does not specify the amount of growth in trade anticipated between the two countries, but it is accompanied by liberalisations of import restrictions. West Germany announced that it has lifted quota restrictions from eighty-four per cent of its import lists.

    The trade pact runs until 1974, when all Common Market Countries will negotiate agreements as a group.

    This pact had long been delayed over West Germany's insistence that West Berlin, isolated within East Germany, be included in the trading area. The Soviet Union had refused to include West Berlin until a package of agreements, including the Four-Power Berlin Agreement and Bonn's conciliation pacts with Moscow and Warsaw, were on the verge of completion.

    Mr. Patolichev said after the signing that the agreement opened the way for West German firms to construct industrial complexes in the Soviet Union and exploit the Soviet Union's natural resources, and for Soviet organisations to participate in building factories in West Germany.

    It was revealed after the signing that Professor Karl Schiller, the West German Economics and Finance Minster had submitted his resignation on Sunday (2 July). His resignation was kept secret by the government to avoid embarrassing the signing of the first trade pact with the Soviet Union in eight years.

    West German Chancellor Willy Brandt is expected to announce Professor Schiller's departure from the government in the next day or so.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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