Kosovo is set to declare independence next Sunday, Feb. 17, despite strong opposition by Serbia and Russia, according to US and EU diplomats. The date had been reported in Kosovo newspapers but only received confirmation at the UN yesterday, writes the Los Angeles Times. Russia has said it will block any Security Council recognition for the breakaway province.
The Kosovo prime minister expects "around 100 countries," including the US, to recognize the new state immediately, Reuters adds. The EU will do so, too, despite jitters from some member nations that it will embolden separatist movements in their own populations. "We will have a powerful and massive recognition," Hashim Thaci said.