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Montenegro

Crna Gora, sometimes transliterated as Tsrna Gora ("Black Mountain"), is used to denote a larger part of Montenegro in the 15th century. It had in the late 14th century only referred to a small strip of land of the Pastrovici, but eventually came to be used for a wider mountainous region after the Crnojević family in Upper Zeta.

The aforementioned region became known as Old Montenegro (Стара Црна Гора/Stara Crna Gora) by the 19th century to distinguish it from the newly acquired territory of Brda (The Highlands). Montenegro further increased its size several times by the 20th century as the result of wars against the Ottomans, which saw the annexation of Old Herzegovina and parts of Metohija and southern Rashka. The nation has changed little since that time, though it lost Metohija and gained the Bay of Kotor.

The country's name in most Western European languages reflects an adaptation of the Italian-Venetian calque monte negro (modern Italian would be monte nero), meaning "black mountain", which probably dates back to the era of Venetian hegemony over the area in the Middle Ages. Other languages, particularly nearby ones, use their own direct translation of the term "black mountain".

The status of the union between Montenegro and Serbia was decided by the referendum on Montenegrin independence on 21 May 2006. A total of 419,240 votes were cast, representing 86.5% of the total electorate. 230,661 votes (55.5%) were for independence and 185,002 votes (44.5%) were against.The 45,659 difference narrowly surpassed the 55% threshold needed to validate the referendum under the rules set by the European Union. According to the electoral commission, the 55% threshold was passed by only 2,300 votes. Serbia, the member-states of the European Union, and the permanent members of the Unitet Nations Security Council all recognised Montenegro's independence.

The 2006 referendum was monitored by five international observer missions, headed by an Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)/ODIHR team, and around 3,000 observers in total (including domestic observers from CEMI, CEDEM and other organizations). The OSCE/ODIHR joined efforts with the observers of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CLRAE) and the European Parliament (EP) to form an International Referendum Observation Mission (IROM). The IROM—in its preliminary report—"assessed compliance of the referendum process with OSCE commitments, Council of Europe commitments, other international standards for democratic electoral processes, and domestic legislation." Furthermore, the report assessed that the competitive pre-referendum environment was marked by an active and generally peaceful campaign and that "there were no reports of restrictions on fundamental civil and political rights."

On 3 June 2006, the Montenegrin Parliament declared the independence of Montenegro, formally confirming the result of the referendum. Serbia did not object to the declaration.

Relations between Serbia and Montenegro were strained on 6 September 2007 after Montenegro banned Serbian Orthodox Church leader Bishop Filaret from entering the country. Tension escalated when an adviser to the Serbian prime minister referred to Montenegro as a "quasi-state", prompting Podgorica to seek an apology and lodge a protest with Serbia's government. The Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Božidar Đelić, sent a note of apology to Montenegro following the statement made by Serbian Premier's Aide Aleksandar Simic.

 
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