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BACKGROUND NOTES. 1985 Oct; 1-8.Yugoslavia was formed on December 1, 1918 from the kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro plus parts of the Turkish and Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its population has the greatest ethnic and religious deversity of any in Eastern Europe. The main language is Serbo-Croatian. Yugoslavia has worked hard to maintain its independence despite pressure from the international Communist organization Cominform. Since the 1960s they have been identified as a leader of nonaligned nations. 6 republics comprise the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and each of these republics has its own government modeled on the federal structure. The federal government has executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The Constitutional Court rules on the constitutionality of all laws and regulations. The League of Communists is the only political party allowed to function; however, it does permit open expression of differences on some major policy issues. Since the end of World War 2, the Yugoslav economy has become an industrialized, midlevel technological economy and the standard of living has risen. Yugoslavia has tried to maintain a rough balance in trade relations with Western nations, with the socialist bloc, and with the developing world. Agricultural production has risen steadily over the years but its full poteential has not yet been realized. Yugoslavia has tried to establish friendly relations with most states, especially in Western Europe. The US has made an effort to support Yugoslavia in its attempt to maintain independence and through cultural, commercial, and political involvement has attempted to offer alternatives to being dependent on the Soviet Union. Relations have been further strengthened by continuing high-level visits by heads of state. While there are differences of view on many foreign policy issues, the US has respected Yugoslavia's position and has offered continued support.