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Yugoslavia: Parliament To Debate Constitution Ending Federation

Belgrade, 4 February 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The Yugoslav federal parliament is scheduled to meet today to debate a proposed constitution that would form a new union called Serbia and Montenegro. Parliaments in the two remaining republics of the federation have passed the proposed constitution, and if the federal parliament supports the change, Yugoslavia will no longer exist.

Serbia and Montenegro have been drifting apart and decided to regulate their relations before beginning European Union membership talks. However, the ruling bloc in Montenegro has said it plans to seek full independence after a three-year moratorium expires.

Serbia and Montenegro are the final members of the Yugoslav federation, a country formed as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians following World War I, and renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. The federation violently disintegrated in the early 1990's, when Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia fought wars to break away.