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A small republic in the Balkans, bordered by Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania.


Montenegro has a short Adriatic coastline. It is largely mountainous, with extensive forests in the north.


Agriculture, especially stock raising, forms the mainstay of the economy. Forestry is also important. Mineral deposits include iron, bauxite, and offshore oil. Manufacturing remains largely undeveloped. In the 1990s Montenegro suffered economically from its union with Serbia, whose Balkan policies led to international isolation.


Montenegro was absorbed into the Serbian empire in the 12th century but remained unsubdued when Serbia was conquered by the Turks in 1389. It was recognized as an independent nation in 1878. In 1918 it became part of the federation of Yugoslavia, which came under communist control after World War II. When Yugoslavia disintegrated in 1989–1991, Montenegrins decided to maintain the federation with Serbia in a referendum (1992). Serbia and Montenegro declared themselves to be an independent country, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; this was replaced by the union of Serbia and Montenegro, a much looser federation, in 2002. However, Montenegro's relations with Serbia remained uneasy and a referendum held in May 2006 resulted in a vote for independence. The union with Serbia was formally dissolved the following month.




13,812 sq km (5387 sq miles)


650,000 (2005 est)


1 euro = 100 cents


mainly Eastern Orthodox, with Roman Catholic and Muslim minorities

Ethnic Groups:

mainly Montenegrin, with Serb and Albanian minorities


Serbo-Croat (official)

International Organizations:


Subjects: World History — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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