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Montenegro sets date for referendum on independence from Serbia

[JURIST] Montenegro [government website] has set April 30th [RFE report] as the date for a nationwide referendum for independence from Serbia. Serbia and Montenegro [JURIST news archive] are the only two surviving republics of the former Yugoslavia, which broke apart in the 1990s during the regime of former president Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive]. Since then, the nations have become a loose union and Montenegro started taking steps towards independence [BBC report] last year. Since both nations have started negotiations to join the European Union [official website], EU officials have launched [BBC report] two separate negotiations with Belgrade and Podgorica. EU officials have also asked [press release] that Montenegro reach a consensus with Serbia on the rules of the referendum, in order to ensure the legitimacy of the vote and maintain EU support. Serbia has no plans to hold a similar referendum.

Speaking of what he called the "renewal" of Montenegrin statehood, Montenegro Foreign Minister Miodrag Vlahovic has said [press release] that "the world will recognize the outcome of the democratic referendum process. This confirmation we have from all the diplomatic factors." Montenegro was nominally independent for several hundred years before joining Serbia in 1918 and becoming a part of post-World War II Yugoslavia in 1945.

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