Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Infobox Former Country
native_name =Савезна Република Југославија
"Savezna Republika Jugoslavija"
conventional_long_name = Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
common_name = Yugoslavia
continent = Europe
region = Balkans
year_start = 1992
year_end = 2003
date_start=April 28
date_end=February 4
p1 = Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
flag_p1 = Flag of SFR Yugoslavia.svg
s1 = Serbia and Montenegro
flag_s1= Flag of Serbia and Montenegro.svg

coat = Coat of arms of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

national_anthem = "Hey, Slavs"
common_languages = Serbo-Croatian (1992-1997)
Serbian (1997-2003)
capital = Belgrade
latd=44 |latm=49 |latNS=N |longd=20 |longm=28 |longEW=E
government_type = Federation
title_leader = President
leader1 = Dobrica Ćosić
year_leader1 = 1992 - 1993
leader2 = Zoran Lilić
year_leader2 = 1993 - 1997
leader3 = Slobodan Milošević
year_leader3 = 1997 – 2000
leader4 =Vojislav Koštunica
year_leader4 = 2000 - 2003
title_deputy = Prime Minister
deputy1 = Milan Panić
year_deputy1 = 1992 - 1993
deputy2 = Radoje Kontić
year_deputy2 = 1993 - 1998
deputy3 = Momir Bulatović
year_deputy3 = 1998 - 2000
deputy4 = Zoran Žižić
year_deputy4 = 2000 - 2001
deputy5 = Dragiša Pešić
year_deputy5 = 2001 - 2003
date_pre=April 27, 1992
event2=UN membership
date_event2=November 1, 2000
stat_area1 = 102350
stat_pop1 = 10656929
stat_year1 = 2002
currency = Yugoslav dinar, Euro, Deutsch mark
time_zone = CET
utc_offset = +1
cctld = .yu
calling_code = 381

The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ( _sr. Савезна Република Југославија / "Savezna Republika Jugoslavija") or FRY was a federal state consisting of the republics of Serbia and Montenegro from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), created after the other four republics broke away from Yugoslavia amid rising ethnic tensions. The state existed from 1992 to 2003, when it was reconstituted as a State Union of Serbia and Montenegro which itself was dissolved three years later, when a referendum for independence in Montenegro resulted in the majority of Montenegrins supporting separation from Serbia. This resulted in both Montenegro and Serbia becoming independent countries.

With the separation of other republics from the former SFRY, the FRY was far more ethnically homogeneous. The state's two main ethnic groups, Serbs and Montenegrins, were almost ethnically and culturally identical, though nationalist strains amongst Montenegrins claim that they constitute an ethnic derivative of their own, while others, especially those who support union with Serbia claim that Montenegrins are a sub-group of Serbs. Ethnic minorities included Albanians, Hungarians, Romanians, and other smaller groups. Ethnic tensions and conflict between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo was a serious and ongoing problem in the FRY throughout its existence.

The state was not recognized as the official successor to the SFRY and remained unrecognized until 2000. From 1992 to 2000, countries like the United States referred to the FRY as "Serbia and Montenegro" and was often called by its synecdoche "Serbia" due to Serbia having dominant influence in the affairs of the FRY, especially under Slobodan Milošević who, during his term as Serbian President, appeared to have more influence over FRY affairs than the Yugoslav president. Opponents of Milošević and opponents of the rise of Serb nationalism under his leadership, claimed the FRY under Milošević was a "Greater Serbia".


With the collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991 and 1992, only Serbia and Montenegro agreed to maintain the Yugoslav state, and established a new constitution for a new Yugoslavia in 1992. With the collapse of communism across Eastern Europe, the new state followed the wave of change, and did not revive Communist party structure (which had already been dissolved in 1990). It abandoned communist symbolism: the red star was removed from the national flag, and the communist coat of arms was replaced the with a double-headed eagle with the arms of both Serbia and Montenegro within it. Further changes included the subsequent rebranding of the police, from "Milicija" (Милиција) as they were hitherto known (lit. "militia") to "Policija" (Полиција); the two republics would each have their respective force. The new state also abandoned the collective presidency of the former SFRY and replaced it with the system consisting of a single president, who would be democratically elected, as well as a democratically elected parliament.

The FRY and the Yugoslav Wars

The FRY was suspended from a number of international institutions. This was due to the ongoing Yugoslav wars during the 1990s, which had prevented agreement being reached on the disposition of federal assets and liabilities, particularly the national debt. The Government of Yugoslavia supported Croatian and Bosnian Serbs in the wars from 1991 to 1995. Because of that, the country was under economical and political sanctions, which resulted in economical disaster that forced thousands of its young citizens to emigrate from the country.

In a BBC documentary, called the "Death of Yugoslavia", Yugoslav official Borisav Jović revealed that the Bosnian Serb army was created to replace the Yugoslav army forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by transferring every Bosnian Serb division of the Yugoslav Army to the Bosnian Serb army as a way to avoid international condemnation of it being an occupation of Bosnia by Yugoslavia. Through this, the Bosnian Serb army received extensive military equipment and full funding from the FRY, as the Bosnian Serb faction alone could not pay for the costs. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5kD1FdxvIE] . Furthermore, Serbian Radical Party founder and paramilitary Vojislav Seselj has publicly claimed that Serbian President Milošević personally asked him to send paramilitaries from Serbia into Bosnia and Herzegovina. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5kD1FdxvIE] Also the Bosnian Serb Army was led by an ex-Yugoslav military commander, Ratko Mladić, an extremely controversial figure, who served the Yugoslav during the Croatian War of 1991 to 1992, who has been accused of committing war crimes in Bosnia.

In 1995, Serbian President Slobodan Milošević represented the FRY and Bosnian Serbs at peace talks in Dayton, Ohio, USA, which negotiated the end of war in Bosnia with the Dayton Agreement.

Growing Separatism

In 1996, Montenegro severed economic ties with Serbia and formed a new economic policy and adopted the Deutsche Mark as its currency. Subsequent governments of Montenegro carried out pro-independence policies, and political tensions with Serbia simmered despite political changes in Belgrade. Also, separatist Albanian paramilitaries began steady escalation of violence in 1996. The question whether the Federal Yugoslav state would continue to exist became a very serious issue to the government.

Kosovo War

With Milošević's second and last legal term as Serbian President expiring in 1997, he ran for, and was elected President of Yugoslavia in 1997. Upon taking office, Milošević gained direct control of the Yugoslav military and security forces, and directed them to engage Kosovo separatists. The conflict escalated from 1996 to 1999 and became a civil war, known as the Kosovo War.

From March 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) under the leadership of the United States waged war on Yugoslavia. NATO suspected that the Yugoslav government was committing genocide on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. This suspicion was based on the presence of Serbian ultranationalist and former paramilitary Vojislav Šešelj being Prime Minister of Yugoslavia; a fear of a repeat of atrocities similar to those committed by Serb forces in Bosnia; and suspicion of Milošević's influence in the previous war atrocities. NATO began an air campaign called Operation Allied Force against Yugoslav military forces and positions and suspected Serbian paramilitaries. The NATO campaign came under severe criticism for its attacks and many inaccurate bombings across Yugoslavia which killed many civilians. The Yugoslav government claimed the NATO attacks were a terror campaign against the country while NATO defended its actions as being legal. The air attacks against Belgrade by NATO were the first attacks on the city since World War II. Some of the worst massacres against civilian Albanians by Serbian forces occurred after NATO started its bombing of Yugoslavia. Cuska massacre, [ [http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/kosovo/cuska/cuska_frameset.html Justice for Kosovo - Massacre at Cuska ] ] Podujevo massacre, [ [http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/balkans/crimesandcourage.html CBC News Indepth: Balkans ] ] Velika Krusa massacre [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/inside_kosovo/velika_krusa.stm BBC News | Inside Kosovo | Velika Krusa ] ] were some of the massacres committed by the Serbian police and paramilitaries during the war. NATO promised to end its bombings of Yugoslavia, when Milošević agreed to end the Yugoslav campaign in Kosovo and a return Kosovo's autonomy. After an array of bombings, Milošević submitted and agreed to end Yugoslavia's anti-separatist campaign in Kosovo and allowed NATO forces to occupy Kosovo.

In June 1999, after the NATO bombings ended, NATO and other troops, entered the province and organized with the controversial Albanian separatist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) paramilitaries, to maintain order. NATO's decision to cooperate with the Kosovo Liberation Army was seen by Serbs as a pro-separatist stand on Kosovo. The KLA committed a number of atrocities during the Kosovo War. Before the handover of power, some 300,000 Kosovars, mostly Serbs, left province, many had been expelled. The number of Serbs in Kosovo dropped drastically as Serbs fled Kosovo, fearing persecution by the KLA which had integrated into the Kosovo security force called KFOR. Despite the controversy, the United Nations proceeded to created a mandate in Kosovo, in which the province technically remained a part of Serbia (or the FRY as it was then), but was completely autonomous. The status of Kosovo was now greater than it had been between 1974 and 1990 when it was at its strongest; the province followed Montenegro in rejecting the Yugoslav/Serbian Dinar in place of the international currencies, and went even further: Kosovo's parliament created new car registration plates for its citizens, unlike Montenegro which continues to use the old FYR type licence plates two years after independence. Kosovo was sanctioned to deploy its own law enforcement, its own government, whilst all Yugoslav security forces (ie. the military, police, militias and paramilitaries) were repelled from entering the region, breeching conditions which did allow a presence of Belgrade forces within Kosovo to protect objects of interest to the Serbs and the various other nationalities (such as the Orthodox monasteries, and the Catholic churches used by Kosovo's ethnic Croats). The U.N. mandate would remain in place for the full duration of the FYR and beyond; it continues to guarantee Kosovo's independence today.

Territorial Divisions

The FRY was composed of four principal political units, consisting of two republics and two subordinate autonomous provinces:

*Republic of Serbia (capital: Belgrade)
** Vojvodina – autonomous province within Serbia (capital: Novi Sad)
** Kosovo and Metohia – autonomous province within Serbia. Under United Nations administration after Kosovo War (capital: Priština)
* Republic of Montenegro (capital: Podgorica)


The Federal Assembly of FRY was composed out of two Domes: the Council of Citizens and the Council of Republics. Whereas the Council of Citizens serves as an ordinary Assembly, representing the people of FRY, the Council of Republics was made equally by representatives from the Federation's constituent republics, to ensure Federal equality.

Under the FRY, the old collective presidency of the SFRY was dissolved and a single president was elected. The status of leadership of the Federal Yugoslav president was unstable with no president lasting more than four years in office. The first president from 1992 to 1993 was Dobrica Ćosić, a former communist Yugoslav partisan during World War II and later one of the writers of the controversial Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Despite being head of the country, Ćosić was forced out of office in 1993 due to his opposition to Serbian President Milosevic. Ćosić was replaced by Zoran Lilić who served from 1993 to 1997, and then followed by Milosevic becoming Yugoslav President in 1997 after his last legal term as Serbian president ended in 1997. The presidential election in 2000 was accused of being the result of vote fraud. Yugoslav citizens took to the streets and engaged in riots in Belgrade demanding that Milosevic be removed from power. Shortly afterward Milosevic resigned and Vojislav Koštunica took over as Yugoslav president and remained president until the FRY's dissolution in 2003.


The FRY suffered significantly economically due to the loss of previous territories of the SFRY to the seceding states and due to mismanagement of the economy, and an extended period of economic sanctions. In the early 1990s, the FRY suffered from hyperinflation of the Yugoslav dinar. Damage to Yugoslavia's infrastructure and industry caused by the Kosovo War left the economy only half the size it was in 1990. Since the ousting of former Federal Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević in October 2000, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition government has implemented stabilization measures and embarked on an aggressive market reform program. After renewing its membership in the International Monetary Fund in December 2000, Yugoslavia continued to reintegrate into the international community by rejoining the World Bank (IBRD) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The smaller republic of Montenegro severed its economy from federal control and from Serbia during the Milošević era. Since then, the two republics had separate central banks, different currencies - Montenegro adopted the euro, while Serbia used the Serbian dinar as official currency.

The complexity of the FRY's political relationships, slow progress in privatisation, and stagnation in the European economy were detrimental to the economy. Arrangements with the IMF, especially requirements for fiscal discipline, were an important element in policy formation. Severe unemployment was a key political economic problem. Corruption also presented a major problem, with a large black market and a high degree of criminal involvement in the formal economy.


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