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Kosovo (Albanian: Kosova, Kosovë; Serbian: Косово, Kosovo) is variously considered:

  • as an independent country in southeastern Europe (officially called the Republic of Kosovo).
  • as a province of Serbia (officially known as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija, abbreviated to Kosmet).

Kosovo made a unilateral declaration of independence on 17th February, 2008.[1] The declaration of independence followed failure at the Security Council of the United Nations to successfully negotiate for Kosovan independence from Serbia. The United States of America, the United Kingdom and others supported independence from Serbia, but it was opposed by Russia, which held a veto. As the declaration of independence is not recognised by the United Nations, countries must decide individually whether they will recognise the state. The declaration, read by Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in the Kosovan parliament, said Kosovo would be a democratic country that respected the rights of all ethnic communities.

The population of Kosovo is approximately two million, the majority of whom are ethnic Albanians. The capital is called Prishtina or Prishtinë by the Albanian majority living there and is also written in Serbian Priština or Pristina. Kosovo is heavily reliant on European Union aid, and since 1999 has been under the security control of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) of NATO, which was authorized by Resolution Number 1244 of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Also authorizing KFOR is a Military-Technical Agreement between NATO and the Governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and of Serbia.[2]