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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kosovo: Current Issues and U.S. Policy

Steven Woehrel
Specialist in European Affairs

On February 17, 2008, Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. On February 18, the United States recognized Kosovo as an independent state. Of the 27 EU countries, 22 have recognized Kosovo, including key countries such as France, Germany, Britain, and Italy. Serbia and Russia have heatedly objected to the recognition of Kosovo's independence. Independent Kosovo faces many challenges, including its relations with Serbia and Serbs in Kosovo, as well as weak institutions, an underdeveloped economy, and the impact of the global financial crisis. Vice President Joseph Biden visited Kosovo on May 21, 2009, after stops in Bosnia and Serbia the previous two days. He received a hero's welcome in Kosovo, where he declared that the "success of an independent Kosovo" is a U.S. "priority." For background on Kosovo, see CRS Report RL31053, Kosovo and U.S. Policy: Background to Independence, by Julie Kim and Steven Woehrel.

Date of Report: January 25, 2010
Number of Pages: 12
Order Number: rs21721
Price: $29.95

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