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Yugoslavia: Montenegro Approves Plan To Change Relationship With Serbia

Podgorica, 5 August 1999 (RFE/RL) - The Montenegrin government has adopted a plan to radically redefine its partnership with Serbia in a renamed Yugoslav federation. Montenegrin Prime Minister Filip Vujanovic said the program calls for Montenegro to have its own defense minister, foreign policy, and convertible currency. The only change to the draft program submitted for approval earlier today was that the name of the new federation to be called the Commonwealth of States of Montenegro and Serbia. The proposal is to be presented to Serbia shortly. If Serbia rejects the plan, officials in Podgorica say Montenegro will conduct a referendum on independence. Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic said recently that Serbia has up to six weeks to accept or reject the proposal.

Also today, Serbian opposition leader Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) called for the resignation of Yugoslav Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic. The party said in a statement that Bulatovic, a close ally of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, should resign and be replaced by a minister loyal to Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic.

The opposition party statement came after Yugoslav Prime Minister Bulatovic held party consultations on a possible federal government reshuffle.

The Serbian Renewal Movement walked out of the Belgrade meeting after ten minutes. It later said that any government reshuffle by Bulatovic would only speed up the "breakup of Yugoslavia."

Montenegro is Serbia's junior partner in Federal Yugoslavia.