Politics

Which Countries Recognize Kosovo as a Country?

Kosovo is currently recognized by 111 member states of the United Nations.

International Recognition of Kosovo

The Republic of Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008 and has received mixed reactions from the international community since. Although it is not recognized by Serbia, a relationship between Serbia and Kosovo has began to be formally established. By February 2017, Kosovo had received 115 diplomatic recognitions as an independent state.

Background

When Kosovo proclaimed independence, there were many countries who stated that they would not be recognizing it. The United Nations Security Council has a divided stand with Russia opposing the secession and considering it illegal.

The United Nations is strictly neutral on whether or not Kosovo has independence. In 2008, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to back Serbia's request to seek the advice of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding Kosovan independence. European Union member states can decide individually whether or not to recognize Kosovo.

The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo stopped providing Kosovans with travel documents in 2008. The ability of Kosovo's citizens to travel with their passport depends on diplomatic recognition. Countries like Greece and Romania accept Kosovo issued travel documents although they are opposed to its independence.

The Reaction of Serbia

After Kosovo declared independence, the immediate reaction of Serbia was hostile. It expelled any ambassadors from countries who recognized Kosovo's sovereignty, indicted Kosovo leader on high treason charges and litigated the case at the ICJ.

European Union-mediated negotiations on Kosovo in 2012. The idea of a liaison officer was accepted by the Serbian prime minister. In April 2013, Serbia and Kosovo decided to begin to formalize relations. This would allow both nations to both eventually be in the EU.

Recognition of Kosovo

115 member states of the UN formally recognize Kosovo as a sovereign state. The issue of diplomatic recognition is entirely left to individuals entities depending on their foreign relations policies. It is also considered that not having issued any official statement on the issue does not necessarily indicate that a state is opposed to Kosovo's independence. Some countries like Bolivia, Spain, Syria, Ukraine, China, and Russia support Serbia's stand concerning Kosovo.

Positions Held by Other Organizations

Inter-governmental organizations do not diplomatically recognize any state themselves. The freedom lies with their member states. Their opinions on Declarations of independence may, however, be shaped by the unanimous stands of their member states. They may also close or withhold membership to a partially recognized state. Kosovo is a member of the IMF, FIFA, World Bank, International Olympics Committee and other non-governmental organizations.

Secessionist movements such as Baluchistan have openly endorsed Kosovo's declaration of independence as well as the ICJ's ruling on the legality of the declaration. Other governments in exile have expressed their hope of attaining sovereignty following the ruling by the ICJ.



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