University of California at Santa Barbara
Summary: This essay examines the divergence in views and actions between the two leading Serbian statesmen, Nikola Pašić and Milovan Milovanović, during the course of negotiations with Bulgaria which led to the conclusion of the Serbo-Bulgarian alliance, a prerequisite for the successful military operations against the Turks in the Balkan War of 1912. Milovanović, the foreign minister, considered an agreement with Bulgaria as an indispensable diplomatic asset for Serbia which would allow her to preserve her independence in the face of the hostile Austria-Hungary and secure an outlet to the Adriatic Sea. Although he fully appreciated the difficulties of Serbia’s position pointed out by Milovanović, Pašić was rather unbending in respect of the territorial concessions to Bulgarians in Macedonia to which Serbia had to agree in return for the conclusion of an alliance. This essay demonstrates that the difference between Pašić and Milovanović was a matter of tactics rather than principle.The former realised that the price had to be paid for the Bulgarian alliance but preferred to have the Serbian government accept an unfavourable borderline under duress, because of the arbitration of Russian Emperor, rather than on its own volition. Not willing to take the responsibility for the concessions made in Macedonia, Pašić chose to present formal rather than real opposition to his party colleague. It was Milovanović’s diplomatic elasticity and courage that enabled the Serbo-Bulgarian agreement to come into being.
Keywords: Pašić, Milovanović, Serbia, Bulgaria, Balkans, alliance, treaty, Balkan Wars