Accessibility links

Montenegro, Macedonia Recognize Kosovo Independence


Two close allies of Serbia have become the latest countries to recognize Kosovo's independence.

Montenegro and Macedonia made their separate announcements Thursday, bringing the number of countries recognizing Kosovo to 50.

Serbia immediately expelled the Montenegrin ambassador. Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said the diplomat was no longer welcome. It has not yet given a formal reaction to Macedonia's move.

The three countries were at one time part of the former Yugoslavia.

Earlier Thursday, Serbia said it will return ambassadors it recalled from countries that recognized Kosovo earlier this year.

A statement from Belgrade said restoring its ambassadors will allow Serbia to continue the diplomatic activities necessary to preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia in February. Serbia, backed by its ally, Russia, insists on maintaining sovereignty over the area.

The European Union Thursday pledged $164 million in aid to Kosovo.

EU personnel are replacing a United Nations force that has operated in Kosovo since 1999.

Last month, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group said the EU has failed to fully support Kosovo and its institutions. The group sharply criticized the long delays ahead of the EU mission's deployment in Kosovo.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

XS
SM
MD
LG