Yugoslavia and the „Prague Spring” after the Increase of Soviet Pressure on Czechoslovakia (July 1968) Cover Image
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Jugoslavija i Praško proleće posle pojačanja sovjetskog pritiska na Čehoslovačku (jul 1968)
Yugoslavia and the „Prague Spring” after the Increase of Soviet Pressure on Czechoslovakia (July 1968)

Author(s): Jan Pelikán
Subject(s): Diplomatic history, Political history, Post-War period (1950 - 1989)
Published by: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije
Summary/Abstract: For quite a while Belgrade kept a rather guarded, more or less passive, attitude toward the „Prague Spring”, both in the international arena and in domestic policy. It was only around July 10th that the character of the relations of the two countries suddenly started to change. The Yugoslav leadership was alarmed at the news of threats of five Warsaw Pact countries to Dubček’s government and the information of real danger of Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia. The Belgrade government decided to intensify its contacts with Prague. At first it wanted to send Krste Crvenkovski to Prague. The leadership of the Czechoslovak Communist Party proposed that Josip Broz Tito also visit Czechoslovakia. At the same time, it condemned Soviet threats to the „Prague Spring”. The leadership of the Czechoslovak Communist Party accepted the Yugoslav proposal with gratitude. For the first and the last time during the „Prague Spring” representatives of reformist part of the „Prague Spring” considered closer cooperation with Tito’s regime between July 10th and 20th July. They even toyed with the idea of Czechoslovakia opposing the Soviet pressure in the same way Yugoslavia had done in 1948. However, deliberations about closer collaboration with Yugoslavia were just an episode in the short history of the „Prague Spring”. After the agreement with the leadership of the KSSS in Čierné nad Tisou about negotiations between the two parties, the interest of Dubček’s regime for cooperation with Yugoslavia soon died down. Tito’s leadership also didn’t consider support for the reformist processes in Czechoslovakia to be the priority of its foreign policy. It criticized Soviet pre ssure on Prague both for fear it could spill over to Yugoslavia, and because it wanted to preserve at home and abroad the image of Yugoslavia as a freedom-loving country which consistently opposed the practice of great powers in international relations. On the other hand, Belgrade had no interest in spoiling relations with Moscow. The reforms in Czechoslovakia have already in many respects gone be yond those introduced in Yugoslavia throughout twenty years since the break with Stalin. Tito’s regime feared the possible success of the Czechoslovak reforms could destabilize the situation in Yugoslavia.

  • Page Range: 97-128
  • Page Count: 32
  • Publication Year: 2008
  • Language: Serbian