What legal methods did Kosovo use to declare their independence? Does Serbia still have a legal claim to the territory of Kosovo? Can Kosovo be considered a state without full international recognition?

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While Kosovo is not an EU member country, Serbia has been since 2009. 23 out of the 28 EU member states officially recognize Kosovo as an independent nation, which was declared sovereign in 2008 in a unilateral Declaration of Independence. This declaration, though technically allowed by international law, is not a legal action according to international convention. 111 out of 193 countries in the United Nations, 25 out of 29 NATO countries, and 36 of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) countries acknowledge Kosovo as a sovereign nation. Kosovo is an Annex I country as classified by the European Council, which means that the EU requires Kosovans to acquire a visa to enter any EU member state. Kosovans who apply for Serbian passports are granted them by the Serbian Coordination Directorate, which distinguishes these documents from those granted to Serbians not living in the Kosovo region, who are issued passports from the Interior Ministry. This means that while the latter group is allowed to travel freely within the Schengen Zone without an additional visa, the former cannot (EC Regulation 539/2001). Serbia, along with Spain, Slovakia, Greece, Romania, and Cyprus, consider the region part of Serbian territory.

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