Kosovo (Kosova or Kosovë, Косово, Kosovo, see: Names of Kosovo), is a region in the Balkans, presently under the ad interim control of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo and protection of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Kosovo Force. Its Provisional Institutions of Self-Government have recently declared independence from the Republic of Serbia, which contested the act; as the Republic of Kosovo, it has received partial recognition.
Kosovo has a population of about two million people, predominantly ethnic Albanians, with smaller populations of Serbs, Romani people, Goranis, Bosniaks, Turks and other ethnic communities. Pristina is the capital and largest city. Kosovo is landlocked, bordering Montenegro to the west, Albania to the southwest, the Republic of Macedonia to the south and Central Serbia to the north and east.
Following the Kosovo War in 1999, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 placed Kosovo under the authority of the UNMIK, with security provided by the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), and legally reaffirmed Serbia's sovereignty over the region and committed the UN Member States to its territorial integrity. After UN-sponsored negotiations failed to reach a consensus on an acceptable constitutional status, Kosovo's provisional government unilaterally declared independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008 and received partial international recognition as a sovereign state (notably from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Albania, Italy, and Turkey). As of March 5th, 2008, 27 states formally recognise the Republic of Kosovo while at least another 3 have declared their intention to do so at a later date.
Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence is disputed by Serbia, Russia, Spain and 18 other nations. The official position of these countries is that Kosovo is a Serbian province under ad interim UN control, formally known as Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (Аутономна покрајина Косово и Метохија, Autonomna pokrajina Kosovo i Metohija, also Космет, Kosmet; Krahina Autonome e Kosovës). Other countries, including the People's Republic of China, have called for further negotiations or have stated they have made no decision yet.