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Italy and Tito’s Yugoslavia in the Age of International Détente


Massimo Bucarelli, Luca Micheletta, Luciano Monzali and Luca Riccardi

World War II and East-West confrontation redefined borders between Italy and Yugoslavia, reshaped national frontiers and adversely affected political relations. As a result, major quarrels and disputes arose over territorial claims, demarcation of State boundaries, expulsion of national minorities, and diverging visions on international and domestic politics. It was only in the 1960s and 1970s, during the years of Détente, that rapprochement between Rome and Belgrade became possible and normalization of bilateral relations was attained. Long-lasting territorial disputes, such as the Trieste question, were solved and bilateral relationship greatly improved, so much so that Belgrade became an important asset in Italy’s Balkan and Adriatic strategy, while Rome was a sort of bridge between Socialist Yugoslavia and Western Europe.
This book is intended to shed light on the process of Italian-Yugoslav normalization and rapprochement, which ultimately brought to the Adriatic Détente. Based on a wide collection of primary sources and documentary materials, it aims to contribute to a better understanding of the history of the Adriatic region, a conflicted European space that had been affected by territorial disputes and ethnic strife for decades during the 20th century.
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The Soviet Union and Yugoslav-Italian Détente (1968-1973)


Aleksandar ŽIVOTIĆ

The change in leadership at the Kremlin in 1964 not only represented an important moment for the political, economic and social life of the Soviet Union, but also an event which would in closer perspective have considerable influence on global international relations. The arrival at its head of the more conciliatory Brežnev meant a more active foreign policy, not only in the sense of relations with the rival superpower but also in the sense of relations with the countries of the Eastern bloc, smaller countries of the Western world and countries that were not engaged in blocs.1 In this context, the relations between Yugoslavia and Italy had special importance for the Soviets.

Immediately after the take-over, a series of leading Soviet diplomats gathered around Brežnev. They were led by minister Andrej Gromyko, who as an experienced diplomat of the war and post-war period developed a special approach to the problems of international relations. Having worked in the diplomatic service for many years in Stalin’s and Chruščëv’s time, Gromyko himself adopted something from their foreign political doctrines, but it was the events that took place during and immediately after the Second World War that formed his views on relations with the USA and with other countries. The experience from the time spent in the central apparatus of the Soviet ministry of foreign affairs formed his apprehension that the foreign policy of the Soviet Union had to be constructed on a...

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