Quadripartite Agreement on West Berlin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Quadripartite Agreement on West Berlin


an agreement signed on Sept. 3, 1971, in West Berlin in the former seat of the Control Council by the Soviet ambassador to the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the American, French, and British ambassadors to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). It went into effect after the Final Quadripartite Protocol was signed on June 3,1972, by the secretary of state of the USA and the foreign ministers of Great Britain, France, and the USSR. The agreement was a result of talks held in 1970 and 1971 between the ambassadors of the four powers at the initiative of the USSR.

The agreement is based on a recognition of the existing political realities and territorial boundaries in Europe. A key clause affirms that the western sectors of Berlin “continue not to be a constituent part of the FRG and not to be governed by it.” The agreement regulates the flow of civilian persons and goods between West Berlin and the FRG by way of the GDR in a manner that recognizes the GDR’s prerogatives as a sovereign state; traffic identified as through, or transit, traffic is to be treated according to international practice. The agreement states that residents of West Berlin may visit East Berlin and other parts of the GDR under conditions comparable to those applying to other foreign visitors.

In the agreement the Western powers maintain their rights and responsibilities relating to the representation abroad of the interests of West Berlin and its residents. However, provided that matters of security and status are not affected, the FRG may perform consular services for the residents of West Berlin and may act for them in the international arena in other strictly limited spheres. The agreement authorizes the establishment of a Soviet consulate general in West Berlin and the opening of an office for Soviet foreign trade associations. Other Soviet institutions are also permitted to establish facilities.

The Quadripartite Agreement on West Berlin constitutes a major step toward normalizing the position of West Berlin, which has for many years been a source of international tension. The agreement promotes detente in Europe and facilitates an overall improvement in the international situation.


Chetyrekhstoronnee soglashenie po Zapadnomu Berlinu i ego realizatsiia, 1971–1977gg.: Dokumenty. Moscow, 1977.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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