Milenko Radomar Vesnić

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Milenko R. Vesnić
Portrait Milenko Radomar Vesnić.jpg
4th Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
2nd Minister of Foreign Affairs
Personal details
Born 1863
Dušinić, Principality of Serbia
Died 1921
Paris, France
Nationality Serbian
Political party People's Radical Party
Religion Eastern Orthodox Christian

Milenko R. Vesnić or Vesnitch in French, and Wesnitsch in German (Dušinić, 1863 – Paris, 1 January 1921) was a Serbian politician, diplomat, cabinet member and prime minister.

Milenko R. Vesnić studied law at la Grande École of Belgrade and at the University of Munich since 1883. On 8 August 1888 Vesnić became PhD in law with a thesis under the title "The Blood Feud among South Slavs". His highly praised thesis was published in German next year in Stuttgart. Two next two years Vesnić spent in Paris (1888-1889) and in London (1889-1890), for further specialization in law. He joined diplomatic service of Serbia in 1891, as the secretary of the Serbian Legation at Constantinople. In 1893, Vesnić was appointed as university professor teaching international law at Grande École in Belgrade and the same year became MP in the National Assembly of Serbia as a the member of the People's Radical Party of Nikola Pašić.

In the government of Sava Grujić (1893-1894), Vesnić was the Minister of Education and the Religious Affairs. His university career was finished in 1899, after Vesnić insulted King Milan I and was sentenced for two years in prison. In 1901 Vesnić returned to the diplomatic service as the Minister of Serbia in Rome.

In 1904, Vesnić was appointed Serbian Minister in Paris, a posting he held for almost 17 years in various terms. In the Radical cabinet of Nikola Pašić in 1906 Vesnić was Minister of Justice, and afterwards returned to Paris, as the Minister of Serbia to France. After the Balkan wars, Vesnić was a member of the Serbian delegation at the Conference of Ambassadors in London (1912-1913).

During the Great War, Milenko R. Vesnić successfully organised various conferences in favour of war effort of Serbia, considered as "the heroic ally of France".

A collection of his speeches and articles in the French papers and journals was published in Paris in 1921 under the title: "Serbia through the Great War ("La Serbie à travers la Grande Guerre").

Milenko R. Vesnić was elected a corresponding member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques in Paris.

Blanche Vesnić Ulman (Jean Béraud)

Vesnić was the diplomatic representative from Serbia at the Paris Peace Conference at Versailles in June 1919. He was married to the American Blanche Ulman who was acquainted with President Wilson's wife. Vesnić travelled to Washington prior to the Peace Conference to meet with Wilson and explain the Serbian position with respect to the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He also represented Serbia at the League of Nations Conference in January 1919.

Vesnić became Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1920, and during his office he signed the Rapallo Treaty with Italy. During his second government (1920-1921), Vesnić retained the portfolio of Foreign Minister as well.

A talented scholar Vesnić wrote dozens of studies regarding international law in general and position of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the international system after the Austro-Hungarian occupation in 1878, in particular.

Vesnić translated important university textbooks on international and criminal law from French and German into Serbian language, as well as the book on Prince Miloš Obrenović rule, written in French by his Italian physician Bartholomeo Cunibert.

Major Works[edit]

  • Milenko R. Wesnitsch, Die Blutrache bei den Südslaven: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Strafrechts, Stuttgart: Gebrüder Kröner, 1889.(PhD thesis in German language).
  • Milenko R. Vesnitch, La Serbie à travers la Grande Guerre, Bossard, Paris 1921.

References[edit]

  • Pavlowitch, Stevan K. (2002). Serbia: the history behind the name. C. Hurst & Co. p. 111. ISBN 1-85065-476-X. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Stojan Protić
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
1920–1921
Succeeded by
Nikola Pašić
Preceded by
Ante Trumbić
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1920–1921
Succeeded by
Nikola Pašić