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East Germany Table of Contents

East Germany

Principles of Foreign Policy

From the earliest days of the republic, East Germany's foreign policy has been concerned with its survival as a separate political entity, international recognition, solution to the "two Germanies problem," accommodation to Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe, and development within Comecon and the Warsaw Pact. The state gained international recognition, signed treaties with West Germany, and solidified its position in Comecon and the Warsaw Pact by becoming the Soviet Union's staunchest ally. Since the late 1970s, East Germany's foreign policy has been extended to include global interests, reflecting its position as one of the world's leading industrial states.

Five principles, which are established in Article 6 of the Constitution, underlie the foreign policy of East Germany: a "perpetual and irrevocable alliance" with the Soviet Union; an "inseparable" membership in the socialist community of states, toward whose members East Germany is committed in friendship, universal cooperation, and mutual assistance; the support of all peoples "who are struggling against imperialism and colonialism"; peaceful coexistence of states with different social orders; and support for peace and cooperation in Europe, a peaceful order throughout the world, and universal disarmament.

East Germany's most important external contacts are with members of the Warsaw Pact and Comecon, West Germany, and selected countries of the Third World. The determinant factor in East Germany's foreign policy is its integration into the Soviet sphere of influence following World War II.

Data as of July 1987