Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008. However, since then the sovereignty of the country has remained contentious. The declaration of independence sparked the Kosovo war that began in February 1998 and lasted until June 1999.The war pitted the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia against the Kosovo Liberation Army with support from NATO and the Albanian army. Although Serbia does not recognize the sovereignty of Kosovo, both states maintain a normal relationship as per the terms of the Brussels Agreement of 2013.

Countries that Recognize the Independence of Kosovo

As of November 2018, 108 member states of the United Nations recognized the sovereignty of Kosovo. Of these states:

23 are members of the European Union.

25 are members of NATO.

57 are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Costa Rica was the first country to recognize the independence of Kosovo. By the end of the following day the United States, Afghanistan, France, the United Kingdom, Albania, and Turkey had all recognized Kosovo. Several states expressed concerns over the community of Kosovo and announced their unwillingness to acknowledge the country. The United Nations Security Council is also divided on the state. China and the Russian Federation are the two Veto Powers that do not recognize Kosovo. China urged for more negotiation between the two countries, but Russia declared the independence illegal. Suriname, Burundi, Lesotho, and Granada withdrew their recognition status.

Recognition by Intergovernmental Organizations

Kosovo submitted a membership application to the United Nations in Kosovo, but by November 2018, it was yet to be admitted. In the same year, it presented a membership request to the Council of Europe, but the application has yet to be approved. Although Kosovo is not a member of the European Union, the decision to either recognize or not recognize Kosovo rests on individual members. In July 2008, the International Monetary Fund recognized the cessation of Kosovo and in 2009 the country became a full member.

Serbia’s View of the Independence of Kosovo

After Kosovo declared independence, Serbia recalled ambassadors from countries that recognized the cessation. Kosovar leaders were also indicted on charges of treason. In late 2012, the European Union intervened as the relationship between Kosovo and Serbia became hostile, and for the first time Serbia appointed a liaison officer to Kosovo. In 2013, Serbian prime minister Ivica Dačić stated that his country would never recognize the sovereignty of Kosovo. In 2013, both countries agreed to normalize relations thereby creating an avenue for both countries to join the European Union. Serbia acknowledged that the government of Kosovo possesses administrative authority over the territory.

Which Countries Recognize Kosovo?
RankCountryDate of Recognition
1 Afghanistan18-Feb-08
2 Costa Rica18-Feb-08
3 Albania18-Feb-08
4 France18-Feb-08
5 Senegal18-Feb-08
6 Turkey18-Feb-08
7 United Kingdom18-Feb-08
8 United States18-Feb-08
9 Australia19-Feb-08
10 Latvia20-Feb-08
11 Germany20-Feb-08
12 Estonia21-Feb-08
13 Italy21-Feb-08
14 Denmark21-Feb-08
15 Luxembourg21-Feb-08
16 Peru22-Feb-08
17 Belgium24-Feb-08
18 Poland26-Feb-08
19 Switzerland27-Feb-08
20 Austria28-Feb-08
21 Ireland29-Feb-08
22 Sweden04-Mar-08
23 Netherlands04-Mar-08
24 Iceland05-Mar-08
25 Slovenia05-Mar-08
26 Finland07-Mar-08
27 Japan18-Mar-08
28 Canada18-Mar-08
29 Monaco19-Mar-08
30 Hungary19-Mar-08
31 Croatia19-Mar-08
32 Bulgaria20-Mar-08
33 Liechtenstein25-Mar-08
34 South Korea28-Mar-08
35 Norway28-Mar-08
36 Marshall Islands17-Apr-08
37 Burkina Faso23-Apr-08
38 Nauru23-Apr-08
39 Lithuania06-May-08
40 San Marino12-May-08
41 Czech Republic21-May-08
42 Liberia30-May-08
43 Sierra Leone11-Jun-08
44 Colombia04-Aug-08
45 Belize07-Aug-08
46 Malta22-Aug-08
47 Samoa15-Sep-08
48 Portugal07-Oct-08
49 Montenegro09-Oct-08
50 Macedonia09-Oct-08
51 United Arab Emirates14-Oct-08
52 Malaysia30-Oct-08
53 Micronesia05-Dec-08
54 Panama16-Jan-09
55 Maldives19-Feb-09
56 Palau06-Mar-09
57 Gambia07-Apr-09
58 Saudi Arabia20-Apr-09
59 Bahrain19-May-09
60 Jordan07-Jul-09
61 Dominican Republic10-Jul-09
62 New Zealand09-Nov-09
63 Malawi14-Dec-09
64 Mauritania12-Jan-10
65 Swaziland12-Apr-10
66 Vanuatu28-Apr-10
67 Djibouti08-May-10
68 Somalia19-May-10
69 Honduras03-Sep-10
70 Kiribati21-Oct-10
71 Tuvalu18-Nov-10
72 Qatar07-Jan-11
73 Guinea-Bissau10-Jan-11
74 Oman4-Feb-11
75 Andorra08-Jun-11
76 Central African Republic22-Jul-11
77 Guinea12-Aug-11
78 Niger15-Aug-11
79 Benin18-Aug-11
80 Saint Lucia19-Aug-11
81 Gabon15-Sep-11
82 Ivory Coast16-Sep-11
83 Kuwait11-Oct-11
84 Ghana23-Jan-12
85 Haiti10-Feb-12
86 Brunei25-Apr-12
87 Chad01-Jun-12
88 Timor-Leste20-Sep-12
89 Papua New Guinea03-Oct-12
90 Fiji19-Nov-12
91 Saint Kitts and Nevis28-Nov-12
92 Dominica11-Dec-12
93 Pakistan24-Dec-12
94 Guyana16-Mar-13
95 Tanzania29-May-13
96 Yemen11-Jun-13
97 Egypt26-Jun-13
98 El Salvador29-Jun-13
99 Thailand24-Sep-13
100 Grenada25-Sep-13
101 Libya25-Sep-13
102 Tonga15-Jan-14
103 Togo11-Jul-14
104 Solomon Islands13-Aug-14
105 Antigua and Barbuda20-May-15
106 Singapore01-Dec-16
107 Bangladesh27-Feb-17
108 Madagascar24-Nov-17
109 Barbados15-Feb-18