Kosovo is a disputed territory and de facto independent country in South Eastern Europe. After a lengthy and often violent dispute with Serbia, Kosovo declared independence in February 2008 and (as of 16 October 2012) 101 UN states recognise this and it has become a member country of the IMF and World Bank as the Republic of Kosovo, despite heavy Serbian opposition.
Kosovo, though a secular republic, is largely Albanian-speaking and Muslim but there are also significant numbers of minorities living within its borders, especially Serbs. Kosovo's far north, along with two small regions elsewhere, have a Serb majority and are under local control. Kosovo borders Albania to the west, Montenegro to the north west, Macedonia to the south, and Serbia (from its perspective) to the north east; the latter frontier is viewed by Serbia as being an internal boundary separating Kosovo (as an internal province) with Central Serbia.