Serbia , a republic of southeastern Europe that, together with Montenegro, forms the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia . Serbia borders on the north with Hungary, on the northwest with Croatia, on the east with Romania and Bulgaria, on the south with Macedonia, on the southwest with Albania, and on the west with Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was part of the former Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. It controls the former autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. It has an area of 88,361 km2. The capital is Belgrade.
According to Petsinclude, Serbia is characterized by its mountainous relief; the Dinaric Alps are to the west, the Sar mountains and the Northern Albanian Alps to the south, and the Balkans and Carpathians to the east. To the north are the low and flat lands of Vojvodina, where the rivers Sova and Tisza meet the Danube, the main river. The climate is continental with cold, dry winters, and hot and humid summers.
Population and Government
In 1992, the population was estimated at 9,823,000 inhabitants. Serbs make up almost two-thirds of the population. The most important minorities are Muslims, Croats, Hungarians and Albanians (more than 90% in Kosovo). The official language is Serbian, one of the two main forms of Serbo-Croatian; the other is Croatian. The dominant religion is the Eastern Orthodox Christian.
Belgrade, the capital, has (1991) 1,087,915 inhabitants and is also the capital of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Other important cities are Novi Sad, Ni, Subotica, Zrenjanin and Kragujevac. In September 1990, Serbia adopted a new constitution that ended Kosovo and Vojvodina’s autonomy, closing its Legislative Assemblies. The president of the republic is the highest authority in the country, and that position has been held by Slobodan Milosevic since 1989. Legislative power is represented by the National Assembly.
The repercussions of economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations, from May 1992 to 1995, for their military support to Bosnian Serbian forces in Bosnia, had a serious impact on the economy. Although trade sanctions have been partially applied, as the border with Albania has remained open, it is estimated that more than 4 million people live in poverty. The Serbian economy is based on agricultural and industrial production. The main crops are wheat, corn, beet (betabel), hemp, flax and fruit. The industries are based on the processing of copper and the manufacture of fabrics, chemicals and machinery.
Serbia was part of the ancient country of Illyria, occupied by the Romans in 44 AD The Goths invaded the area in the 3rd century, however, after 395, it became part of the Byzantine Empire. At the end of the 8th century, with the arrival of the Slavic peoples, two territorial groups were formed: Zeta (in present-day Montenegro) and Rascia, further north, which constitutes present-day Serbia. The Ottoman Empire established its hegemony in Serbia in 1459. After the 1815 uprising, Turkey accepted the formation of a principality under the sultan’s sovereignty. According to the Treaty of Adrianópolis, after the Turkish-Russian War of 1828-1829, Serbia gained greater autonomy. The Berlin Congress of 1878 recognized Serbian independence, but in reality, it made the country dependent on the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Serbian relations with Austria deteriorated greatly between 1905 and 1907,
In 1914, after the Balkan Wars, tension reached its culmination when a Serbian nationalist murdered the heir to the Austrian throne. The Austrian government declared war and invaded the country, starting World War I. Under the terms of the Corfu Declaration, in 1918 Alexandre Karagjorgjevic proclaimed the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which in 1929 became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After World War II, the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed, of which Serbia became one of the constituent republics with limited self-government. In 1991, Yugoslavia began to fragment due to the confrontation between representatives of the republics after the fall of communist power and the growing nationalism; Serbia wanted to keep the federation together in order to preserve its dominant position.
In mid-1991, the Civil War broke out, in which Serbia (through the federal Yugoslav People’s Army under Serbian rule) supported the Serb-Croats and Serb-Bosnians who wished to create “Greater Serbia”. In April 1992, the separation of the four republics (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Macedonia) took place. Serbia and Montenegro, the only republics that remained in the former Yugoslavia, announced the formation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, however, the United Nations General Assembly (UN) did not allow the federation to automatically take the place of the former Yugoslavia, and it was excluded from the General Meeting. However, the country was given the option of joining in its own right and, in 1996, formal UN recognition was obtained. On May 30, 1992, due to Serbia’s continued support for Bosnian Serbs, the UN imposed economic sanctions on the Federation. Interested in speeding up the lifting of international sanctions, President Milosevic supported the negotiations that allowed the signing of the Dayton peace accords in 1995. Milosevic and the presidents of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, ratified the agreements peace in Paris, and international sanctions have been lifted. The municipal elections, held in November 1996, indicated the triumph of the Serbian democratic opposition. Although these elections were initially canceled, their result was finally accepted in February 1997. Milosevic and the presidents of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, have ratified the peace agreements in Paris, and international sanctions have been lifted. The municipal elections, held in November 1996, indicated the triumph of the Serbian democratic opposition. Although these elections were initially canceled, their result was finally accepted in February 1997.