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Results of the Kohl-Gorbachev Talks (July 15-16, 1990)

With U.S. support, Chancellor Kohl and Secretary General Gorbachev reached a compromise during personal talks in the Caucasus Mountains. The compromise allowed Germany to retain its NATO membership. In exchange, it agreed to drastic disarmament and offered considerable economic aid to the Soviet Union.

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Kohl on His Caucasus Meeting with Gorbachev, July 17, 1990

Thanks to intensive, candid talks and consultation at all levels – unprecedented in their number and frequency – we can now speak of a breakthrough in regulating the external aspects of German unification. We also begin to see clearly the contours of a future European architecture. [ . . . ]

Today I can announce to all Germans the good news that all other external aspects have been agreed upon by the Soviet Union and ourselves.

We want forward-looking agreements, extensive cooperation, trust, and, last but not least, a broad-based meeting of our peoples, particularly the younger generation.

We also want this to be a contribution to lasting, peaceful development in Europe.

This provides a model – and on this point, President Gorbachev and I are in full agreement – for a comprehensive treaty of cooperation between united Germany and the Soviet Union, to be concluded as soon as possible following unification.

This treaty will be based on a solid foundation and in the mutual understanding that German-Soviet cooperation, together with our firm position in the West, will provide an essential contribution to stability in Central Europe and beyond.

Based upon these common philosophies – as President Gorbachev also stated – we have resolved the practical problems that still lie ahead on the path to German unification.

I would like to review the most important points here:

1) The unification of Germany includes the FRG, the GDR, and all of Berlin.

2) With unification of Germany, the rights and responsibilities of the Four Powers with respect to Germany as a whole and Berlin will be terminated. Starting at the time of unification, united Germany will receive total and unrestricted sovereignty.

3) United Germany, in exercising its total and unrestricted sovereignty, can freely and autonomously decide whether and to which alliance it wishes to belong. This corresponds to the spirit and text of the CSCE final acts.

I have declared the view of the federal government that united Germany would like membership in NATO, and I know that this corresponds to the wishes of the GDR. Minister President de Maizière made this clear in his comments yesterday. We reconfirmed our decision in this respect when we spoke early this morning.

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