Including Appendices: Russia-Germany, Part I

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Proceedings of the Brest-Litovsk Peace Conference
The Peace Negotiations Between Russia and the Central Powers
21 November, 1917-3 March, 1918
Appendices: Russia-Germany

(Washington, Government Printing Office, 1918)

These accounts of the negotiations at Brest-Litovsk, between Russia (including Ukraine) on the one hand, and Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey on the other hand, have been taken from various sources. Official protocols of the sessions were provided for at the session on 3 December, but if they were ever published, they are not available at this time of compilation. Most of the following accounts have been taken from the (British) Daily Review of the Foreign Press and from the Deutscher Reichsanzeiger, the exact source of each being indicated. The official Russian reports as published in Isvestia are not available, but most of them seem to have been sent out by the Russian wireless and published in the (British) Daily Review of the Foreign Press. The versions given in the Deutscher Reichsanzeiger are probably as nearly official as were published in Germany.



[Translation with reconstruction. Parts in italics have been added frem a dispatch to the Department of State from Moscow, 20 April, 1918. Some spellings have been corrected according to Andree's Handatlas.]

The line prescribed in Article 3 of the peace treaty with Russia, which in the west runs along Russian sovereignty, passes through the islands of Dago and Worms, between Mohn and the mainland between the islands Rüno and Küno, and in segmental curve passing through the bay of Riga, reaches the mainland slightly to the northwest, [northeast] of the mouth of the Livonian Aa, then in continuation of the curve it passes around Riga and to the east [west] of Üxküll (Oger Galle), crosses the Düna (Dvina). Then it follows the course of the Düna to the east of Dwinsk (Dünaberg) to the place where ended the former Courland frontier, almost to Druja, and from this place it extends in a straight line south-west crossing Strusty Lake to the southern part of Lake Driswjaty, leaving the locality Driswjaty itself to the east of the line.

From here the line bends in a south-southwest direction close to Mjelengjany on the German side. The localities Widsy and

(1) The appendix consists ot a map, official copies of which do not seem to have been made public. The accompanying reproduction, see opposite page, has been taken from Vorwaerts, 5 March, 1918.

Tweretsch remain east of the line. It crosses the railway line from Swenziany to Lyntupy upon midway. The line then passes along a stream by the localities Michalischki and Gerwjany, both of which are left to the west of the line, along the rivers Oschmjanka and Loscha. The line itself in manifold windings reaches the railway from Wilna to Smorgon, which it crosses somewhat west of Slobodka. Here the line bends, running straight to Klewisa on the German side, by Oschmjany and Dsewenischki on the east, and Geranony on the west, along the rivers Opita and Gawja to the Niemen.

The line now follows the downward course of the Niemen to a point above Mosty, and here it bends directly to the south into the river course of the Selwianka, which it follows to Roshany, which remains to the east of the line. From here it passes in a southwest direction (along the Temra) to the Ukrainian border where Prushany is reached. From here it passes between Borowiri (?) and Szolzhentiza(?), between Koski (?) and Dobruschin (?), and west of the road from Prushany to Vidoml passes in straight line the bends of the river Liesna, leaving Vidoml on the Russian side. The line ends on the river Liesna north of Brest-Litovsk, Szmolienitza (?) and Bobruschin (?) remain to the east of the line, Riga, Jacobstadt, Dwinsk, Svenzjany, Vilna, Lida, Wolkowysk, and Konstantinow on the German side.

An absolutely exact determination of the line will be established through a Russo-German Commission.



(1) Ratifications exchanged at Berlin, 29 March, 1918 (Neue Freie Presse, 6 July, morning edition; cf infra, p. 139).


In regard to the economic relations between Germany and Russia the following is agreed upon:

1. The Russo-German commercial treaty of 1894/1904 does not again take effect.(2)

The contracting parties obligate themselves to begin negotiations regarding the conclusion of a new commercial treaty as soon as possible after the conclusion of a general peace between Germany on the one hand, and the European countries at present at war with her and the United States of America and Japan on the other hand.

2. Until such time, and in any case up to 31 December, 1919, the regulations contained in this appendix, and constituting an integral part of the present peace treaty, shall be made the basis of their mutual commercial relations. Both contracting parties, are, however, free to repudiate these regulations after 30 June, 1919, on condition of giving six months notice. In case this right of repudiation is utilized before the 31 December, 1922, then, until 31 December, 1925, in case the denunciation ensues after 31 December, 1922,

(2) 86 British and Foreign State Papers, pp. 442, 449, 482, 461, 473; 97 British and Foreign State Papers, p. 1040.

for a term of three years reckoning from the date of the cessation of the activity of the stipulations contained in the present appendix, the subjects, the commercial, industrial, and financial companies, including insurance companies, the produce of agriculture and industries, and the vessels of each of the two contracting parties shall enjoy the most favored nation treatment in the territory of the other party. These regulations extend particularly:

a) To acquisition and ownership of movable and immovable property, disposition of same, occupations in commerce, trades, and professions, as well as to dues levied in these instances;

b) To import, export, and transit of goods, to customs dues and customs formalities, to internal dues on consumption and the like, and to traffic prohibitions;

c) To the treatment accorded by the governmental or state-controlled administrations of monopolies of one of the contracting parties to buyers or sellers of the other party in the fixing of prices, or in other business conduct;

d) To the transportation and transportation tariffs on railways and other ways of communication;

e) To the admission and status of ships, their crews and cargoes, as well as to ships' dues;

f) To the transportation of passengers by forwarding agencies, including transportation of emigrants by land and sea and other activities of emigration agents.

3. During the entire time of the application of the principles of the most favored nation, neither of the parties shall establish, to the detriment of the opposite party, on the frontiers of its territory, higher import or export duties than on any other frontier.

Furthermore, in the course of ; this period, Russia shall neither prohibit the export of rough and hewn lumber, nor levy export duty on the same, in so far as it is not especially mentioned in No. 6 of the Schedule of Export Duties; neither shall it prohibit the export of, or levy export duty on ores of any kind.

4. Russia shall not claim the advantages which Germany grants to Austria-Hungary or to any other country allied with her by a customs union, and adjoining Germany either immediately or through an intervening country allied with her or with Austria-Hungary by customs union. Colonies, outlying possessions and territories under protectorate, in this respect are placed on the same basis as the mother country.

Germany shall not claim the advantages which Russia grants to another country connected with her by customs union, and adjoining Russia either immediately, or through an intervening country allied with her by customs union, or to the colonies, outlying posessions or territories under the protectorate of a country allied with her by customs union.

5. In so far as in neutral countries there are located goods originating in Germany or Russia and subject to prohibition of import into the territory of the other contracting party elther directly or through the intermedium of ts another country, such limitations as to the disposition of such goods shall be cancelled as regards the contracting parties. Both contracting parties, therefore, obligate themselves immediately to advise the Governments of neutral countries of the above-stated cancellations of the limitations mentioned .

6. Privileges granted by one of the contracting parties during the time of the war to other countries in the form of concessions or other state measures, must be revoked or extended to the opposite party by granting equal rights.

7. In so far as in the tariff appendix A, or elsewhere, there are no stipulations to the contrary, the general Russian Customs Tariff of the 13/26 January, 1903,(1) shall be applied for the whole period of life of the present provisorium as well as of the most-favored nation treatment granted both by Clause 2.

8. The agreements which existed between the German Empire and Russia on 31 July, 1914, in regard to Russian sugar shall remain in force during the life of the present provisorium and during the mutual application of the most favored nation principle in accordance with Clause 2.

9. The contracting parties are agreed that, with the conclusion of peace, the war terminates also in the field of economy and finance. They engage not to participate either directly or indirectly in measures having for their aim the continuance of hostilities in economic or financial spheres, but to hinder such measures within the boundaries of the territories of their State by all means in their power.

In the course of the intermediate period required for the removal of the consequences of war and for the organization of new relations, the contracting parties bind themselves not to put, in so far as it is possible, any difficulties in the way of the acquisition of necessary goods by introducing high import duties, and they express their willingness to enter immediately into negotiations for the purpose of maintaining and enlarging as far as feasible the customs exemptions established during the time of the war.


(1) Ratifications exchanged at Berlin, 29 March, 1918 (Neue Freie Presse, 6 July, morning edition; cf. infra, p. 139).



The subjects of one of the contracting parties, who have settled on the territory of the opposite party or reside temporarily in the same, shall enjoy, in their commercial and industrial activities, the same rights as the native inhabitants, and shall not be subjected to higher or to other taxes. In the territory of the other party they, in all respects, shall enjoy the same rights, privileges, franchises, advantages, and exemptions as the subjects of the most favored nation.

Both parties are, however, agreed that special laws, decrees, and orders, relating to trade, commerce, industry, and police, which govern or will govern in either of the contracting countries, and which apply to all foreigners, will not be affected by these considerations.


The subjects of both contracting parties shall have the right, on the territory of the other party, on a basis of equality with the native inhabitants, to acquire, to possess, and to manage movable and immovable property of every kind as well as to dispose of the same in the way of sale, exchange, gift, matrimony, legacy, a or any other method, as well as to receive inheritances through will or on the basis of the law, n without being subjected in any of the cases mentioned, in one way or another, to higher dues, taxes, or collection than native inhabitants.

Each of the contracting parties reserves the right to make exceptions to these stipulations for those parts of their respective territories which have been declared frontier districts or fortress regions.

However, in none of these cases above mentioned shall the subjects of one of the parties in the territory of the other party be placed in a less favorable condition than the subjects of any third country.

The subjects of both contracting parties may, provided they observe the laws of the country, take out, unhindered, the proceeds of the sale of their property, and, in general, their belongings, without being obliged, in their capacity as foreigners, to pay special or higher dues than native inhabitants in the same circumstances.

Subject to the local laws, they shall have free admission to law oourts, where they may appear as claimants or defendants, and shall enjoy in this respect all rights and immunities of native inhabitants and also, like the latter, they shall have the right to employ in every law suit the attorneys and agents admitted under the local laws.


The subjects of each of the contracting parties, in the territory of thc opposite party, shall not be subject to juridical, administrative, or municipal duties, with the exception of guardianships. They are likewise exempt from any personal service in the army, fleet, reserve of the territorial army and of the navy, the national militia, as also from all duties, compulsory loans, military requisitions, and service of any kind, imposed, in case of war, or as a result of exceptional circumstances; duties connected by any title whatsoever with the ownership of a parcel of land, and also the military quartering duty and other special services to be rendered to the active army, to which are liable the native inhabitants and the subjects of the most favored nation in their capacity of proprietors and lessees of real estate are excepted.


Joint stock companies and any other commercial, industrial, or financial companies, including insurance companies, which have been lawfully formed in one of the two countries in accordance with existing laws, and have their abode there, must be recognized by the other country as existing lawfully and shall, in particu lar, enioy in the same the right to conduct lawsuits in the courts in the capacity of claimants or defendants.

Both parties, however, agree that the foregoing stipulation does not affect the questlon whether such companies, formed in one of the countries, shall be admitted, or not, to commercial or industrial activity in the other country. This question depends as heretofore, on the regulations already existing or to be introduced in the country in question.

In any case, the aforesaid companies shall enjoy in the other country the same rights as have been granted or may be granted to similar companies of any other country.


The contracting parties obligate themselves not to impede the mutual relations of the two countries by any prohibitions of import, export, or transit, and to permit free transit.

Exceptions are only admissible for such articles as are or will be considered a State monopoly in the territory of one of the contracting Parties, as also for certain articles respecting which exceptional prohibitional rules may be issued for reasons of hygiene, veterinary supervision, and public safety, or for other weighty political or economic reasons especially in connection with the after-war transition period.

During the after-war transition period, for the purpose of overcoming the consequences of the war, regulations may be issued limiting intercourse, as well as prohibiting import, export, and transit: they must be enforced in such manner as to be felt as slightly as possible, and as soon as circumstances permit, they must be rescinded.


The products of Russian agriculture and industry imported into Germany, and the products of German agriculture and industry imported into Russia, shall in the country of their importation be on the same footlng as the products of the most favored nation, regardless of whether they be intended for consumption or for storage, for re-export, or for transit. In no case, and on no account, shall they be subjected to any higher or other duties, taxes, fees, or contributions, or to extra charges, or to import prohibitions, if the same does not apply to similar products of any other country. In particular, every advantage and facility, every exemption from and reduction of import duties of the general and conventional tariffs, which one of the contracting parties, permanently or temporarily, without a corresponding benefit or against compensations, grants to a third country, shall be granted to the products of agriculture and industry of the other country without further formality and without any conditions, reservations, or compensations.


The products of German agriculture and industry mentioned in the appended 'I'ariff A, on being imported into Russia, and the products of Russian agriculture and industry, specified in the appended Tariff B, when being imported into Germany, shall not be subjected to any special or higher import duty than that stipulated in the said appendices.

Should one of the contracting parties assess any of the articles of domestic production or manufacture specified in appendices A or B, for the benefit of the State Exchequer by means of any new internal tax or excise, or addition to such internal tax or excise, similar articles when being imported may be taxed with an equal or corresponding duty on condition that this duty shall be the same for the products of all countries.


Internal duties, which are now being levied or may be levied hereaftcr in the territory of one of the contracting parties for account of the State, of committees, or of societies, for the production, preparation, forwarding, sale, or consumption of any article may be levied on similar articles of the other party, but under no pretext at a higher rate or in a more oppressive fashion than on the produce of the home country. In so far as internal duties are levied on raw materials and half finished products, the making of a suitable tax agreement for the importation of such products made from such raw materials and half finished products shall be admissible, even in case similar home products are not taxed directly.

Each of the contracting parties is at liberty, for the purpose of obtaining national income, to establish a monopoly on suitable articles, or to subject the same to regulations analogous to a monopoly. In this case the foregoing regeulations are made correspondingly applicable.


In exporting goods from either of the two countries into the other, no other nor higher export duties shall be levied than those levied on exports into the most favored country. Furthermore, any advantage granted on exports of one of the contracting parties to a third country is automatically and unconditionally extended to the other party.


Goods of any kind, passing through the territory of either of the parties, shall reciprocally be exempt from any transit dues, irrespective of whether they go through immediately or be unloaded while in transit, warehoused, and then reloaded.


The stipulations of the present agreement do not affect:

1. Advantages which are granted now, or may be granted in the future, to other adjacent countries for facilitating local intercourse, within a boundary zone of fifteen kilometers in width.

2. Advantages which either of the contracting parties grants or will grant in the future to another country in virtue of an existing or future customs union.

3. Import or export advantages which are granted now, or may be granted in the future, to the inhabitants of the province of Archangel.

However, German imports into that territory shall enjoy, to an equal extent, all customs advantages granted to any European or North American country.


Merchants, manufacturers, and other persons engaged in industrial enterprises who prove by presentation of a legal certificate ssued to them by the authorities of their home country that they have the right to engage in commereial dealings in the country where they reside permanently, may, either personally or through commercial travelers in their employ, purchase goods in the territory of the other contracting party, or solicit orders, bringing with them samples of goods. The said merchants, manufacturers, or other persons engaged in industrial pursuits, as well as commercial travelers, shall reciprocally enjoy in both countries the same rights as regards passports and dues on commercial dealings as do the subjects ol the most favored nation.

Persons provided with a certificate entitling them to engage in industrial pursuits (commercial travelers) may carry with them samples of any kind, but not goods. Articles, liable to duty, which are brought in by the above mentioned persons, are exempted, by both parties, from both import and export duties, but on condition that, in case these articles are not sold, they be taken out again within a year's time, and that there be no doubt as to the identity of the articles brought in and taken out again. It is immaterial through which custorrt house the goods are taken out.

The taking out of samples of merchandise must be guaranteed, when imported, by making a deposit of the amount of the respective customs duty, or by some other guarantees.

The contracting parties will inform eaeh other as to what authorities are entitled to issue certificates for the privilege of engaging in industrial enterprises, of the form which these certificates will take, and the rules which the travelers must reserve during the time of their industrial activities.

The subjects of either of the contracting parties, going into the territory of the other to visit fairs and bazaars, to trade or to sell their products, are mutually placed, by both parties, in the same position as the native inhabitants and shall not be subjected to higher dues.


In regard to mutual safeguarding of author's rights as regards literary, artistic, or photographic products, the stipulations of the agreement concluded between the German Empire and Russia under date of 28 February l913, shall apply in the relations between Germany and Russia.

In regard to mutual safeguarding of trade-marks the stipulations of the declaration of 23/l l July, 1873,(1) shall govern also in the future.

(1) This footnote is smeared in the printed version and largely illegible. Ed.


German vessels and their cargoes in Russia, as well as Russian vessels and their cargoes in Germany, shall be placed on the same footing as local ships and cargoes, regardless of where the vessel sailed from or whither bound, regardless also of the origin or destination of their cargoes.

Every prerogative and every immunity which may be granted by one of the contracting parties to a third country, shall be extended automatically and unconditionally to the other party.

However, exception is made from the foregoing stipulations:

a) In regard to those special privileges which, in either country, now exist, or may be granted in the future, to the home fisheries and their produce:

b) In regard to the privileges granted now or in the future to the national merchant fleet.

The stipulations of the present agreement do not apply to coast-wise shipping which, as heretofore, shall be regulated in both countries by existing or future laws. However, in any case German and Russian vessels shall be permitted to sail from a port of one of the contracting parties to one or more ports of the same country, whether for complete or partial discharge of the cargo brought from abroad, or for taking on or completing a cargo destined for abroad.


The nationality of vessels is recognized by both parties in accordance with the laws and regulations of each country, on the basis of documents and letters patent issued by the proper authorities and found on the vessel.

Certificates of tonnage measurement, issued by either of the contracting parties, shall be recognized by the other party in accordance with special agreements concluded, or to be concluded between the contracting parties.


German vessels, arriving at a Russian port, and on the other hand, Russian vessels arriving at a German port, merely for the purpose of completing their cargo there, or for partially discharging the same, may retain and bring out again a definite part of the cargo destined for another port of the same country or for another country on condition that they observe the laws and regulations of the country in question; in this case they are not obliged to pay any dues for this part of their cargo with the exception of the inspection fees, which shall, however, be levied only at the rate established for local vessels.


From tonnage dues and clearance fees are wholly exempt in the ports of either country:

1. Vessels arriving from any place in ballast and leaving again in ballast;

2. Vessels which, coming from a harbor of one of the two countries into one or more harbors of the same country, can prove that they paid the said fees in another harbor of the same country;

3. Vessels which voluntarily or of necessity arrive with cargo at a port and leave it without having effected any trade.

This exemption shall not extend to lighthouse, pilotage, towing, quarantine, or other dues which are payable on the vessel for services rendered or apparatus used and which are established in the interest of traffic, and which are equally payable by native ships, and by those belonging to the most favored nation.

lf a vessel came to the port through necessity, the unloading and reloading of merchandise necessitated bv repairs to the ship, the transferring of cargo into another vessel on account of the unworthiness of the former, the purchases of necessary provisions for the crew, the sale of deteriorated goods with the consent of the customs authorities, shall not be considered as a commercial transaction.


In case a vessel of one of the contracting parties is stranded or wrecked on the coast of the other country, the vessel, as well as the cargo, shall enjoy the same advantages and immunities which the laws of the respective countries extend to its own vessels in similar circumstances. All aid and assistance shall be given to the master and to the crew, as regards their persons, the ship, and the cargo.

The contracting parties are further agreed that salvaged goods shall not be subject to customs duties unless intended for local consumption.


The use of highways and other thoroughfares, canals, locks, ferries, bridges, and bridge openings, harbors and quays, channel-marks and lights, pilots, lifting cranes and scales, warehouses, coast-guards and institutions for salvage and safe-keeping of ships' cargoes, and so forth, in so far as these constructions or institutions are intended for general communication and for public traffic and trade in general, irrespective of whether they are managed by the State, or by private persons with the consent of the State, shall be granted to the subjects of the other contracting party on the same conditions and against payment of equal dues as to the subjects of the home country.

With the exception of deviations permissiblo in regard to lighthouses and pilots, these dues shall only be levied if the above mentioned constructions and institutions have actually been utilized.


Both contracting parties reserve the right to establish their own railway tariffs at their own discretion.

However, neither in respect to freight rates nor in respect to the time and method of forwarding shall any difference be made between the subjects of either contracting party. Especially on consignments of goods coming from Russia and destined for a German station, or passing through Gcrmany in transit, no higher rates shall be levied on German railways than on similar German or foreign products going in the same direction and on the same section of the road. The same shall apply on Russian railways for consignments of goods from Germany destined for Russian stations or passing through Russia in transit.

Exceptions from the foregoing stipulations shall be admissible only in so far as consignments at reduced rates for public or charitable purposes are concerned.

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