When Yugoslavia broke up, which of the resulting countries did officially inherit all the international treaties that had been signed with Yugoslavia? Like in the case with USSR it was Russia, what country was it in the case with Yugoslavia?

1 Answer 1


None of the countries was recognized as the sole successor of Socialistic Yugoslavia. Each of the republics had to apply for a new membership.

Arbitration Commission of the Peace Conference on Yugoslavia issued the following opinion (No. 9) on the state succession:

[The Commission] ruled that it should be resolved by mutual agreement between the several successor states, with an equitable division of the international assets and obligations of the former SFRY. It also decided that the membership of the SFRY in international organizations could not be continued by any successor state, but each state would have to apply for membership anew.

After the breakup of SFRY and subsequent independence of former republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia) the remaining parts of the federation (FRY, comprised of Serbia and Montenegro) claimed to inherit the membership of SFRY in the international organizations and treaties. This claim was rejected by the UN SC Resolution 777.

Serbia and Montenegro dropped its claim to be recognized as a sole successor of SFRY when it formally applied for a new membership in the UN in 2000.

  • Thank you, but I don't understand how it was about all those treaties that had been signed by Yugoslavia. Were all of them just nullified?
    – brilliant
    Nov 6, 2018 at 13:05
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    The treaties were with an entity that no longer existed, and could not comply with any treaty obligations.
    – MikeW
    Nov 6, 2018 at 14:42
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    @brilliant it seems only Serbia wanted to be Yugoslavia's heir in those treaties and it wasn't recognized as such, at least, by the UN (and, thus, most of its members). Some countries, e.g. Russia, opposed the Resolution and it's technically possible, albeit unlikely, for Russia to recognize older bilateral treaties with Yugoslavia. Now, I've tried to find USSR-SFRY treaties recognized both by Russia and Serbia and couldn't find any. It seems that both countries chose to establish new treaties and agreements. Nov 6, 2018 at 15:39
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    So, was all national debt also voided?
    – vsz
    Nov 7, 2018 at 12:59
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    @vsz That's a great question! Turns out it was largely divided in a complicated way (a paper on the subject). During the 90-s newly formed states independently negotiated their share of Yugoslavian debt with foreign creditors through international organizations (IMF, World Bank, etc.). In 2004 all former republics ratified a mutual Agreement on succession issues, which, supposedly covers the remaining part of the debt. This agreement is still being implemented. Nov 7, 2018 at 15:32

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