Kosovo is signing a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union, a historic milestone that will help the economic growth of one of Europe's poorest countries.
Tuesday's signature in Strasbourg opens the way to eventual full membership into the EU, Kosovo's main trading partner.
European Integration Minister Bekim Collaku says the agreement marks a “new milestone because it establishes contractual relations between the Republic of Kosovo and the EU.”
The EU has been Kosovo's main supporter with about 1.3 billion euros (some $1.4 billion) in development aid for 2007-2020, according to Thomas Gnocchi of the EU office in Kosovo.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has been recognized by more than 100 countries. Five EU member countries that do not recognize it have, nevertheless, approved the agreement.