On July 4, the Valdai Discussion Club hosted an expert discussion titled “Historical Heritage of the Breakup of Yugoslavia and Russia’s Current Relations with its Former Countries”. During the event, Borisav Jovic, the last president of socialist Yugoslavia, presented the Russian translation of a book titled “The Lost Age: Serbia’s Position during the Breakup of Yugoslavia”.
The events related to the breakup of Yugoslavia (1991–2008) resulted in the extremely painful disintegration of the entire Balkan Peninsula. At present, several former Yugoslav countries have already joined NATO or are candidate states, while Serbia remains wary and still bear the scars of the NATO bombardment, which took place 20 years ago.
Now and then, Pristina takes measures that noticeably aggravate the situation in the region. The recent provocations of the self-proclaimed Kosovo police special forces have resulted in yet another escalation, prompting Serbia to make its armed forces fully combat-ready. Russia’s positions in the Balkans have always seemed unshakable. However, recently, it has become obvious that Russia's relations with a number of countries in the region are in a certain crisis.
How is Russia forging relationships with the nations of the former Yugoslavia? What is the nature of current developments affecting the countries of the Balkan Peninsula? Which are slated to join NATO and the EU? Is it easy for some of these countries to remain neutral? The participants of the expert discussion addressed these and other questions.
Borisav Jovic, President of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1990-1991);
Ekaterina Entina, Associate Professor, Higher School of Economics, Senior Researcher, Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences;
Grigory Engelhardt, Research Fellow, Department of Central and South-East European Modern History, Institute of Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences;