BREST, U.S.S.R., JUNE 11 -- The Soviet and West German foreign ministers said today they had made progress on tackling key obstacles in the path of German unification.
Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze told a news conference after talks in this Soviet town on the border with Poland that he was encouraged by signs that the Warsaw Pact and NATO were dropping their old enmity.
He suggested that an agreement regulating relations between the two blocs might ease unification of the two Germanys.
"We see the development of a very favorable setting for a mutually acceptable settlement of the military-political status of a future united Germany," he said.
Western demands that a united Germany be incorporated into NATO are the main obstacle to agreement on German unification.
West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher rejected any suggestion that the question of Germany's military allegiance be held in abeyance.
"It is very important that a united Germany should not be burdened with unsettled questions," he told a news conference.
Both East and West are eager to settle problems of unification before a summit in late fall of 33 European states, Canada and the United States.
Western countries also are concerned that unification, which takes a major step with German currency union next month, could be held up by political instability in the Soviet Union.
Genscher said he and Shevardnadze have decided to meet again before June 22, when foreign ministers from the World War II victors and the two Germanys meet for talks on unification in East Berlin.
The West German magazine Der Spiegel said over the weekend that Moscow and Bonn were nearing a deal on NATO membership whereby West Germany would extend massive economic aid to the Soviet Union.
The West also would extend security guarantees and radically reduce the size of the combined German armed forces.
Genscher has suggested keeping NATO troops out of the territory that currently constitutes East Germany, a front-line member of the Warsaw Pact. He also has proposed allowing the 350,000 Soviet troops stationed there a period of grace to leave German territory.