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Treaty of Rapallo, 1922

The Treaty of Rapallo was an agreement of April 16, 1922 between Germany and Soviet Union under which each renounced all territorial and financial claims against the other following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and World War I.

The two governments also agreed to normalise their diplomatic relations and to "co-operate in a spirit of mutual goodwill in meeting the economic needs of both countries".

The Treaty was signed during the Genoa Conference by G.V. Chicherin, foreign minister of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic, and his German counterpart Walther Rathenau.

A supplementary agreement signed at Berlin on November 5 extended the treaty to cover Germany's relations with Russia's allied Soviet republics of Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Far Eastern Republic.

The treaty ended the diplomatic isolation of both countries in the wake of World War I and the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the West it was viewed with alarm as strengthening the international position of both governments.

Poland, the Baltic states and Finland were concerned by this prelude to revived Russian imperialism, soon to be signified by the establishing of the Soviet Union. The attempt to counter the Russian threat by closer cooperation on the fields of defence and foreign politics failed however, mainly due to resistence in the different parliaments.

Though reaffirmed on paper in the Treaty of Berlin, 1926, the understanding between the two powers waned with Germany's rapprochement with Britain and France in the middle years of the decade.