India and Serbia and Montenegro Re-engagement: Regional and Bilateral Dimensions

Charan Wadhva
Vatroslav Vekaric
Centre for Policy Research

India and former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) of which the present State Union of Serbia and Montenegro (SM) had been a part, enjoyed close and friendly relations. Personal friendship between late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India and the late President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia was legendary. The warm political relations between India and the former Yugoslavia resulted in growing bilateral economic relations in the hey days of Non Aligned Movement in the 1960’s. However,, these bilateral economic relations have been going through a declining phase for several years due to the impact of several dramatic developments at the global; regional; and national levels. SM and other successor states of SFRY as a region have experienced continuing political turmoils and ethnic conflicts and internal wars in the post cold war period since the disintegration of the former Soviet Union. SM has faced international economic sanctions and bombarding by teh forces of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation which have delayed its recovery and economic progress.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, both India and Serbia-Montenegro are rediscovering themselves in the vastly changed context of the global, regional and national developments. Both countries are now desirous of re-engaging especially in economic terms to reap mutual benefits. The Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi and the Institute of International Politics and Economics at Belgrade took the initiative of organising annual bilateral policy dialogues to assess the gains from and effective ways for re-engagement between India and Serbia. This book presents selected papers from the first two such policy dialogues at track-II level held in 2003 and 2004.

This book should be found useful by policy makers and researchers worldwide interested in regional and bilateral co-operation in India, Asia, Serbia-Montenegro and Europe.