Југославија и питање европске безбедности крајем 60-их и почетком 70-их година ХХ века
During the 1960s, a part of European countries accepted with reserve the nonaligned politics of Yugoslavia. The anti-colonial politics espoused by Yugoslavia faced resistance and disapproval of the then European colonial powers. Belgrade’s anti-bloc politics caused mistrust among the members of the Western and Eastern military alliances. By opposing the proliferation of atomic weapons in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Balkans, the Yugoslav state establishment confronted the nuclear powers and their ambitious plans. The support to the non-developed countries of the Third World triggered a revolt of the wealthy countries. For these reasons, the painstaking development of quality relations with the neighbouring countries and European states entailed time, a pragmatic stance and considerable effort.
In the early 1960s, Yugoslavia was not putting forward its own initiatives and proposals relating to the enhancement of security in Europe, but supported all endeavours leading to the appeasement of hostilities, establishment of trust and promotion of cooperation. Forced to pursue realpolitik, the Yugoslav state leaders understood at a very early stage that this also meant “more adequate adjustment” to the existing situation in Europe. In the mid-1960s, Yugoslavia’s political and diplomatic engagement to preserve European security became more concrete and, in time, more intensive. In the conditions of a pronounced internal crisis, foreign political stability was the key interest of the Yugoslav state. In the second half of the 1960s and the early 1970s, the Yugoslav diplomacy espoused the view that the “political moves and shifts among the powers” in Europe required the need to find a “possible and realistic approach” to solving the issues of security and cooperation. In such circumstances, the “European area” and the “direction of its development” were becoming all the more important for Yugoslavia, which belonged to it itself. Consistent with this, efforts were made to broaden cooperation and ensure a rapprochement and provision of mutual assistance among the states with different social organisation. The Yugoslav view of Europe rested on the conviction, obtained through experience, that any conflict between the great powers on the European soil jeopardised world peace in the most direct way, whereas the easing of tensions in the continent contributed to the strengthening of peace in the world. Therefore, Belgrade believed that the “favourable evolution of circumstances in Europe, particularly in terms of relations between the East and the West”, anticipated the period of true progress “along the lines of peaceful international cooperation”. As assessed by Belgrade, the stability achieved did not result from the nuclear powers’ interest in preventing confrontation, but arose from more independent activity, an enhanced role and concrete national interests of European countries to mutually cooperate, develop rapidly and ensure security in Europe. Such development of events was considered favourable for new political initiatives and a conscious action, so as to ensure that the identified historical process would progress rapidly towards the desired direction. More intensive Yugoslav political and diplomatic engagement in European politics (the so-called Yugoslav “return to Europe”) served this purpose.