Belgrade declaration

The Belgrade declaration (Russian: Белградская декларация, Serbo-Croatian: Beogradska deklaracija, Београдска декларација, Slovene: Beograjska deklaracija, Macedonian: Белградска декларација) is a document signed by President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev on 2 June 1955 that brought about a short reconciliation between the two states.[1][2][3] Negotiations leading up to the signing of the document took place between 27 May and 2 June.[3]

Belgrade declaration
TypeDeclaration
ContextPost-Stalinist normalization of relations between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union
Signed2 June 1955 (1955-06-02)
Signatories Josip Broz Tito
Parties

The declaration guaranteed noninterference in Yugoslavia's internal affairs and legitimized the right to interpret other forms of socialist development in different countries.[4] While the declaration failed in achieving lasting rapprochement between the two countries (a result of Yugoslav anxiety over the Hungarian Revolution of 1956) it had an effect on Yugoslav disengagement from the Balkan Pact with the NATO member states of Turkey and Greece.[2] The document was a cornerstone for the relations between the two countries for the following 35 years.[5]

BackgroundEdit

Since the 1948 Tito–Stalin split, there was a rift in the relationships between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, as Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito established a socialist regime disregarding Joseph Stalin's doctrine.

After Stalin's death in 1953, Tito had to choose between a more Western approach to reforms or an agreement with new Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Two countries formally reestablished diplomatic relations with Soviet ambassador Vasily Valkov arriving to Belgrade on 30 July and Yugoslav ambassador Dobrivoje Vidić arriving to Moscow on 30 September 1953.[6] This, however, did not automatically lead to normalization between the two ruling parties. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the League of Communists of Yugoslavia exchanged letters in late 1955.[3]

Tito tried to reconcile with the Soviet Union, inviting Khrushchev to Belgrade in 1955. The Khrushchev trip to Belgrade is sometimes colloquially known as the "Soviet Canossa".[7]

This meeting resulted in the Belgrade declaration ending the Informbiro period, granting other socialist countries the right to interpret Marxism in a different way, and ensured equal relationships amongst all satellite states and the Soviet Union. But the limits of this agreement became evident after the Soviet intervention in Hungary in October 1956; this was followed by a new Soviet campaign against Tito, which held the Yugoslav government responsible for the Hungarian insurrection. Soviet–Yugoslav relationships went through similar cool periods in the 1960s (after the violent ending of the Prague Spring) and thereafter.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The signing ceremony of the Belgrade Declaration, Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 2 July 1955. Artist: Anon". Heritage Images. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b Žarković, Petar. "Yugoslavia and the USSR 1945 - 1980: The History of a Cold War Relationship". YU historija. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Edemskiy, A. B. "БЕЛГРА́ДСКАЯ ДЕКЛАРА́ЦИЯ 1955". Great Russian Encyclopedia (in Russian). Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  4. ^ Lazić, Milorad (4 December 2017). "The Soviet Intervention that Never Happened". Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  5. ^ Goldstein, Ivo; Goldstein, Slavko (2020). Tito (in Croatian). Zagreb: Profil. p. 558. ISBN 978-953-313-750-6.
  6. ^ Osmanagić, Danijel (17 May 2020). "Beograjska deklaracija, eden največjih Titovih političnih uspehov". Zgodovina na dlani (in Slovenian). Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  7. ^ Jakovina, Tvrtko (2020). Budimir Lončar: Od Preka do vrha svijeta [Budimir Lončar: From Preko to the Top of the World] (in Croatian). Zaprešić, Croatia: Fraktura. p. 292. ISBN 978-953-358-239-9.
  8. ^ Holt, Robert T. (1958). Radio Free Europe. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 163. ISBN 0-8166-0160-7.