BRUSSELS, June 25 (UPI) -- Kosovo's first phase of developing its own security force will be completed by 2009, NATO officials announced Wednesday.
Spokesman James Appathurai described the force as non-military. It's 2,500 personnel and an 800-strong reserve will be focused on crisis response, bomb disposal and civil protection, RIA Novosti reported.
Kosovo has been under United Nations administration since NATO bombings and intervention ended a conflict there between Serbian troops and Albanian separatists in 1999. It's Feb. 17, 2008, declaration of independence has been recognized by 43 of the 192 U.N. member states, including the United States and most major European countries. Russia and China have refused to acknowledge its independence from Serbia, the Russian news agency noted.