KOSOVO - IMPORTANT FACTS
POPULATION: 1.8 million (ethnic Albanians number about 1.5 million)
STATUS: declared itself independent on February 17, 2008. Serbia refuses to recognize declaration of independence.
AREA: a landlocked province within Serbia
MAJOR LANGUAGES: Albanian, Serbian
MAJOR RELIGIONS: Islam, Christianity
MONETARY UNIT: 1 euro
NATURAL RESOURCES: coal, lead, zinc, chromium, silver, copper
Slobodan Milosevic, on becoming president of the Yugoslav Federation in 1989, proceeded to strip Kosovo of its autonomy. His rejection of an internationally-brokered deal to end the crisis in the region, as well as the persecution of Kosovo Albanians, led to the start of NATO air strikes against targets in Kosovo and Serbia in March 1990.
Agriculture is the main economic activity in Kosovo. The population is mainly ethnic Albanian. Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008, and it is recognized as an independent nation by the United States and by the major European countries.
Source: BBC News / news.bbc.co.uk