Declaration of independence
Kosovo declared independence on 17 February 2008 and over the following days, a number of states (the United States, Turkey, Albania, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Australia, Poland and others) announced their recognition, despite protests by Russia and others in the UN. Template:Numrec recognise the independence of Kosovo and it has become a member country of the IMF and World Bank as the Republic of Kosovo. The ICJ concluded unanimously in 2010 that Kosovo's declaration of independence of 17 February 2008 did not violate general international law.
The UN Security Council remains divided on the question (as of 4 July 2008[update]}}). Of the five members with veto power, USA, UK, and France recognised the declaration of independence, and the People's Republic of China has expressed concern, while Russia considers it illegal. As of May 2010[update]}}, no member-country of Commonwealth of Independent States, Collective Security Treaty Organisation or Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has recognised Kosovo as independent. Kosovo has not made a formal application for UN membership yet in view of a possible veto from Russia and China.
The European Union has no official position towards Kosovo's status, but has decided to deploy the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo to ensure a continuation of international civil presence in Kosovo. As of December 2012[update]}}, most of the member-countries of NATO, EU, and OECD have recognised Kosovo as independent.
All of Kosovo's immediate neighbour states except Serbia have recognised the declaration of independence. Montenegro and Macedonia announced their recognition of Kosovo on 9 October 2008. Albania, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Hungary have also recognised the independence of Kosovo.
The Serb minority of Kosovo, which largely opposes the declaration of independence, has formed the Community Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija in response. The creation of the assembly was condemned by Kosovo's president Fatmir Sejdiu, while UNMIK has said the assembly is not a serious issue because it will not have an operative role. On 8 October 2008, the UN General Assembly resolved, on a proposal by Serbia, to ask the International Court of Justice to render an advisory opinion on the legality of Kosovo's declaration of independence. The advisory opinion, which is not binding over decisions by states to recognise or not recognise Kosovo, was rendered on 22 July 2010, holding that Kosovo's declaration of independence was not in violation either of general principles of international law, which do not prohibit unilateral declarations of independence, nor of specific international law – in particular UNSCR 1244 – which did not define the final status process nor reserve the outcome to a decision of the Security Council.
Some rapprochement between the two governments took place on 19 April 2013 as both parties reached the Brussels Agreement, an EU brokered agreement that would allow the Serb minority in Kosovo to have its own police force and court of appeals. However, the agreement is yet to be ratified by parliaments in both countries.