Cultural Revolutions

Yugoslavia, R.I.P.

On February 4, the Federal Assembly in Belgrade formally dissolved the state known as Yugoslavia and replaced it with a loose union of its remaining two republics, Serbia and Montenegro.  On February 25, the separate parliaments of Serbia and Montenegro voted to nominate deputies for the new joint legislature that was then slated to elect a new president of the union, abolishing Vojislav Kostunica’s post of Yugoslav president.

The agreement is a curious mix of federal and confederal elements, providing for near-complete sovereignty for the two republics.  They will be linked only by a small joint administration running defense and foreign affairs.  It remains to be seen whether the agreement also marked the final demise of the troubled Balkan federation.  The status of Kosovo remains moot.  It is formally part of the new state, just as it had theoretically belonged to the old one, but it is an international protectorate under de facto rule by Albanian gangsters who want nothing less than full independence.  Albanians now form an overwhelming majority in Kosovo, as most Serbs and other non-Albanians—ethnically cleansed following the NATO occupation in 1999—have not been able to return.

In Montenegro, the separatist-minded recycled communists led by Milo Djukanovic are in power, and their willingness to make the arrangement work is uncertain.  They were reluctantly...

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