United States -- Yugoslav Relations: From Dispute to Normalisation During 1963

Fifty Years Without JFK: Rethinking Global Diplomacy
Europe: Panel 1

United States -- Yugoslav Relations: From Dispute to Normalisation During 1963

Zlatko Ivanovic (University of Montenegro)

During 1963 Yugoslavia managed to partly restore the balance in relations with both East and West. Establishing of its closer relations with the pro-Soviet Block was followed by an energetic endeavoring of the Yugoslav leadership to avoid that such trend be noxious to the country’s cooperation with the Western powers, in particular United States. Notwithstanding that political views of Belgrade on almost all important internationally related issues coincided to those of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavs continuously rejected any possibility of radical shifts in the country’s foreign policy course or return to the socialist Bloc. Americans still believed that Tito would never put himself again in the position similar to one in 1948 when he clashed with Stalin. Americans believed that by aiding the regime in Belgrade, they indirectly confined spreading of military influence of the Soviet Union to the strategically very important area of the South East Europe and Mediterranean, instigating other socialist countries to follow Yugoslav model.

Discord between political actions of Yugoslavia and U.S. vis-à-vis their positions in the international relations further complicated the efforts made both countries to foster their economic and political cooperation. Yugoslav involvement in the non-alignment movement was not welcomed by the West. Tito seemed less interested in cooperation with the U.S. This caused distrust and annoyance in Washington, because after the Cuban crisis, public opinion in U.S. became less flexible in regard to the American support to the communist country. However, Yugoslavia’s economic dependency on the American aid, made Yugoslavs revise their foreign policy. Reluctantly, but persistently, Belgrade embarked on the diplomatic actions aimed at improving relationships with the United States and other leading Western democracies. Pragmatic diplomacy and suppression of ideological animosities of both sides prevailed and peaked in the middle of 1963 with the Kennedy- Tito meeting in Washington. At the meeting, which took place shortly before Kennedy’s assassination, a new cornerstone of the Yugoslav-American relations was laid, that will last neither more nor less than until dissolution of Yugoslavia.

Europe: Panel 1A (Senate Room)

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The men behind the man: McGeorge Bundy, the NSC staff, and the making of American foreign policy, 1961-1963
Kasper Grotle Rasmussen (Aarhus University, Denmark)

United States – Yugoslav Relations: From Dispute to Normalization During 1963
Zlatko Ivanovic (University of Montenegro)

“France in John F. Kennedy’s world view”
Sean J. McLaughlin (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)

Panel 1, Europe: Q&A Session
Chair: Dr. Piers Ludlow (LSE)

Author: 
Institute for the Study of the Americas
Speaker(s): 
Zlatko Ivanovic (University of Montenegro)
Event date: 
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 - 12:00am
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