Kosovo declares independence
PRISTINA, Kosovo - Kosovo declared itself a nation on Sunday, mounting a historic bid to become an "independent and democratic state" backed by the U.S. and key European allies but bitterly contested by Serbia and Russia. "Kosovo is a republic — an independent, democratic and sovereign state," parliament speaker Jakup Krasniqi said as the chamber burst into applause. Krasniqi, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and President Fatmir Sejdiu signed the declaration, which was scripted on parchment. Serbian President Boris Tadic immediately rejected the independence bid, saying his country will never accept Kosovo's "unilateral and illegal" declaration. Russia denounced Kosovo's independence declaration and called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, underlining its opposition to the Serbian province's Western-backed bid for statehood. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said Russia supports Serbia's "just demands to restore the country's territorial integrity" and wants the Security Council to renew efforts to reach a settlement on the issue of Kosovo's status. Sunday's declaration was carefully orchestrated with the U.S. and key European powers, and Kosovo was counting on swift international recognition that could come as early as Monday, when EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels, Belgium.Next up.... Chechnya, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Scotland.... and da UP (aka the State of Superior).