Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Friday, August 6, 1999 Published at 03:38 GMT 04:38 UK

World: Europe

Anger at plan to abolish Yugoslavia

President Djukanovic (left) with the Russian Foreign Minister this week

The government of Montenegro has adopted wide-reaching proposals to redefine its relations with Serbia - its senior partner in the Yugoslav Federation.

Kosovo: Special Report
The plan, which includes the abolition of the Federation, could be a prelude to a later bid for independence by Montenegro.

But ultra-nationalist Serb leader Vojislav Seselj has reacted strongly to proposal, saying the Yugoslav army would intervene if Montenegro attempts to secede.

He dismissed the project as nonsense.

He said: "If anyone tries to separate themselves by force, we know what will follow - the use of all constitutional means to prevent it.

The BBC's Jacky Rowland: "A clear challenge to President Slobodan Milosevic"
"The Americans would do the same if California decided to secede."

The Montenegro plan calls for a looser association to replace the federation, to be known as the Commonwealth of the States of Montenegro and Serbia.

Under the proposal each republic would have control over economic and foreign affairs, and they would have separate army commands.

The plan will now go to Serbia for consideration.

Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic has warned that if Belgrade fails to agree to the proposed changes, he would call for a referendum on independence.

BBC Belgrade Correspondent Jackie Rowland says many in Belgrade's corridors of power see the plan as outright rebellion.

Serbian opposition

[ image: Djukanovic insists Montenegro must decide its own sovereignty]
Djukanovic insists Montenegro must decide its own sovereignty
Montenegro (population 630,000) and Serbia (population 10 million) are the only two republics left in Yugoslavia.

Mr Milosevic, whose current official capacity is notionally based on unity of the rump of Yugoslavia, is believed to be almost certain to reject the proposal.

He tried unsuccessfully to stop Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia from breaking away from Yugoslavia.

President Djukanovic said recently that Serbia would be given six weeks to accept or reject the proposal before a referendum on independence would be called.

In contrast to Serbia, Montenegro has maintained good relations with western governments, but the United States has urged President Djukanovic to do nothing that would provoke further instability in the Balkans.

The Montenegrin leader was in Moscow this week trying to persuade Russian leaders to support his efforts to win greater autonomy from Belgrade.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

05 Aug 99 | Europe
Djindjic charges dropped

22 Jul 99 | Europe
Montenegro breakaway threat

14 Jul 99 | Europe
Talks focus on 'Yugoslav crisis'

06 Jul 99 | Europe
Montenegro's media speaks out

01 Jul 99 | Europe
Montenegrin leader slams Belgrade: Interview

23 May 99 | Europe
Milosevic must go, says Montenegrin president

21 May 99 | Europe
Anti-Yugoslav protest in Montenegro

15 May 99 | Europe
Montenegrin president condemns Milosevic

Internet Links

Government of Montenegro

Media Club in Podgorica

Serbian Ministry of Information

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift