Serbia and Montenegro agree to stay together

Yugoslav leaders agreed on a historic deal on 14
March, creating a new structure and renaming the federation
into Serbia and Montenegro.

The agreement, signed on 14 March in Belgrade, will
restructure the federation and give both republics
semi-independent status. They will have a common defence
and foreign policy, but separate economics, customs
services and currencies.

The agreement was signed by the Yugoslav
President Vojislav Kostunica, the Montenegrin President
Milo Djukanovic, and the EU High Representative Javier
Solana. It meets the expectations of the EU that
endeavoured to keep Serbia and Montenegro together.

The Montenegrin independence referendum,
scheduled for May, will be postponed for three years,
according to the agreement.

The agreement calls for both republics
to adopt new constitutions by June 2002, and to hold new
federal elections by this autumn.

The agreement still has to be ratified
by the Serbian, Montenegrin and Yugoslav parliaments before
coming into force.


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