July 4: Newly appointed West German Chancellery Minister Rudolf Seiters pays SED General Secretary Erich Honecker a first visit in East Berlin. Ahead of the visit, Stasi Minister Mielke informs Foreign Minister Oskar Fischer in a letter that the Ministry for Security has learnt of West Germany’s intention "not to give anything in return for the solution of humanitarian problems on the grounds that they are no longer in conformity with the OSCE." Mielke demands that this intention be rejected; after all, he says, every person who leaves the GDR causes a drop in production to the tune of 220,000 marks.
For this reason, Mielke says, the GDR has to continue to insist on payments by West Germany for people leaving East Germany and for family reunifications; the GDR’s readiness to come to terms must not "lead to the economic exploitation of the GDR." – But the controversy feared by the Ministry for Security does not occur; Seiters’ visit is solely for the purposes of a general exchange of views, and sticks to the well-worn paths of the "German-German crawl [Ger.: Kriechgang]" (Hermann Rudolph).
July 7: At the Warsaw Pact summit in Bucharest, the Soviet Union officially gives up the Brezhnev doctrine of the limited sovereignty of its member states, and announces "freedom of choice". In future, the final Bucharest statement says, relationships between the states are to be developed "on the basis of equality, independence and the right of each one to independently work out its own political line, strategy and tactics without external intervention." The Soviet guarantee of existence for the communist regime in Central Europe is thus called into question. – Erich Honecker suffers a bout of bilious colic during the meeting and is flown back to East Berlin earlier by special plane.
July 7: A demonstration by civil rights activists at Alexanderplatz in East Berlin in protest at the vote-rigging on May 7 is broken up by a massive police detachment. – There are also demonstrations against this electoral fraud at the end of the alternative church congress "Statt-Kirchentag" in Leipzig on July 9.
July 9: Ethnic unrest in the Soviet Republic of Moldova.
July 9: US President George Bush and US Secretary of State James Baker begin a trip to Europe. The first countries they visit are those where the process of reform is most advanced: Poland and then Hungary. These visits are of great symbolic significance, but there is disappointment in Warsaw and Budapest at the small amount of financial aid and trade relief promised by the US. The United States does not want to destabilise the Soviet Union; Bush and Baker seek cooperation with Mikhail Gorbachev and Eduard Shevardnadze.
Mid-July: The West German press reports on an increasing wave of refugees leaving the GDR for Austria via Hungary. Many refugees are still being arrested by Hungarian border guards, but they are being less frequently handed over to the GDR State Security. This is despite that fact that the Hungarian state security authorities had promised their counterparts in the GDR that they would continue to protect the border to Austria, to not treat GDR citizens as political refugees as laid down in the Geneva Convention, and to prevent their travelling on to a country of their choice.
July 15: The 15th World Economic Summit of the seven leading industrial nations (G-7) in Paris refuses to give China new World Bank loans because of its suppression of the democracy movement. Coalminers in the Siberian region of Kusbass and in the largest coalfields in the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian Donets basin, strike for higher wages and better living conditions. The strikes finish at the end of July when the coalminers are promised that their demands will be met.
End of July: More that 150 would-be GDR emigrants have been staying in several West German diplomatic missions in the Eastern Bloc, including those in Budapest and East Berlin, hoping that in this way the authorities will be forced to let them travel to the West.
RIAS reports from East Berlin on the situation in the West German Permanent Mission. There have been several reports of a rush of GDR citizens wanting to leave the country. RIAS cannot confirm these reports, but can corroborate the fact that there is a continually growing number of would-be emigrants and increasing discontent in the country.
In July, 11,707 GDR citizens manage to flee to the West; 9563 people are given permission to leave the GDR.