Embargo on the Danube

7 June 1993 - 11 October 1996
Military personnel

Since it was founded in 1945, the multicultural state of Yugoslavia consisted in administrative terms of 6 constituent republics which, following a constitutional change in 1974, were largely independent. The oil crisis and the accompanying economic malaise, together with the upsurge of Serb nationalism, produced a fatal mixture in the course of the 1980s, which was to herald the end of the federation.

Serbian identity

The Serbs were in favour of upholding a powerful unified Yugoslav state to guarantee that they would retain their political power and cultural identity. The Serbs also feared for the rights of their fellow Serbs in the other republics. The Serb president, Slobodan Milosevic, fanned the flames of the nationalistic fire by calling for a Greater Serbia and appointing himself as the protector of all Serbs in Yugoslavia.


On 25 June 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence, with the Bosnian Croats and Muslims following suit on 3 March 1992. The Yugoslav army (JNA) intervened almost immediately and the war in Bosnia began on 2 April 1992. In September 1991, the Security Council imposed an arms embargo on the whole of Yugoslavia, followed in May 1992 by a trade embargo against Serbia and Montenegro.