• Contested territories
  • Administered by Kosovo
  • Claimed by Serbia
  • Area 10,887 km2
  • Population 1,809,280
  • Capital Pristina
  • President Hashim Thaci
  • Divided city Mitrovica
  • Declaration of Independence 17 February 2008

Kosovo is a partially recognized state in Southeastern Europe. It declared independence from Serbia in 2008, after the war in 1999 and the transitional administration of the United Nations (UNMIK). Kosovo has been recognized by 50% of UN member states, among which the United States and most EU-countries. However, there is also a strong opposition against Kosovo independence, not only expressed by Serbia but also by Russia, China and Spain. The Kosovo Serb majority in the northern part of Kosovo refuses to be part of this new country, and largely functions independently from its institutions. The Ibar River, running through the city of Mitrovica, marks the dividing line. Recently, there are talks about an ethnic land swap: Serbia getting the North, and Kosovo annexing Preševo Valley. This proposal is highly debated, both in the region and in the EU. Critics say it will have a negative spillover effect on other parts of the Balkans and could lead to new wars.