Yugoslavia on Tuesday officially buried what remained of the bloodied federation after a decade of Balkan wars and formed a loose union of Serbia and Montenegro to take its place.
The federal assembly cleared the final hurdle for establishing the Western-brokered state union by passing its founding charter with an absolute majority in both houses, consigning the name Yugoslavia to history after almost 75 years.
"I hereby declare the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro adopted," speaker Dragoljub Micunovic told an historic joint session after the two houses voted separately.
Deputies broke out in applause after a day-long debate.
The charter comes into force immediately, but it is expected to take about a month before the institutions of the union -- simply named Serbia and Montenegro -- are set up. They include a 126-strong parliament which will pick a president.
Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic vowed to do his best to make it work, responding to widespread skepticism about its survival prospects.
"My message is: give the union a chance," he said.
Serbia and much smaller Montenegro were the only republics which remained in Yugoslavia after the old six-member socialist federation collapsed violently during the rule of Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s.
The other republics were Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia. Yugoslavia -- which translates as the Land of Southern Slavs -- first became the name of the country when it was still a kingdom in 1929.
The country held together during the hard rule of veteran communist dictator Josip Broz Tito, but then fell apart along ethnic lines in conflicts which killed tens of thousands of people and left many more homeless.
The reformist leaders of Serbia and Montenegro agreed under EU pressure in March last year to stay together in a union for now, leaving most powers in the hands of the republics, but it took almost a year of wrangling to finalize the deal.
Talks began after Serb reformers ousted strongman Slobodan Milosevic as Yugoslav president in late 2000, ending the republic's international isolation.
Milosevic is currently on trial at a UN war crimes court in The Hague, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity.
Montenegro's pro-independence leadership reluctantly shelved plans for breaking away from dominant Serbia for at least three years, after which both sides have the right to go it alone.
The EU had feared independence for the coastal republic of 650,000 people would have encouraged other breakaway movements, for example among Albanians in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo.
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