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Kosovo is Finally an Independent and Free Nation

Kosovo which is formerly a part of Yugoslavia and then Serbia which has undergone tremendous upheaval for its independent is finally a free and sovereign nation Sunday, February 17, 2008.

Lawmakers in the legislature of the former Serbian province approved the declaration of independence at an extraordinary session Sunday afternoon. It was read out in Albanian, Serbian and English by prime minister Hashim Thaci before the approval of state symbols including Kosovar's new national flag and anthem.

The 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence was an act of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government Assembly of Kosovo, adopted on 17 February 2008, which declared that Kosovo is independent from Serbia. It was the second declaration of independence by Kosovo's Albanian-dominated political institutions, the first having been proclaimed on 7 September 1990. Unlike the 1990 Kosovo declaration of independence, which only Albania recognised, Kosovo's second declaration of independence was expected to be widely supported by foreign states including most European Union member states and the United States.

Kosovo's declaration of independence was extremely controversial. The newly proclaimed republic has not been seated at the United Nations, as it is generally believed that any application for UN membership would be blocked by Russia. Russia has vowed to oppose Kosovo's independence with a "plan of retaliation" that some have suggested could see Russia recognising the hitherto internationally unrecognised breakaway states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia.

Serbia has likewise proactively declared the annulment of Kosovo's independence and vowed to oppose Kosovo's independence with a package of measures intended to discourage the international recognition of the republic.