More information about Kosovo is available on the Kosovo Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
Since Kosovo’s independence in 2008, the United States and over 100 UN-member countries have recognized Kosovo as an independent, sovereign state. The United States continues to support a multiethnic, democratic Kosovo, fully integrated into the international community. This remains a key pillar of U.S. efforts to enhance stability in the Balkan region as part of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. U.S. priorities in Kosovo include the comprehensive normalization of Kosovo’s relations with Serbia, centered on mutual recognition, strengthening governance and rule of law, and fostering economic growth and energy security.
European Union (EU)-facilitated Dialogue talks, launched in 2010 with U.S. backing, established a process for fostering reconciliation and normalization between Kosovo and Serbia. The United States continues to encourage Kosovo and Serbia to accelerate efforts to reach a comprehensive normalization agreement, which would benefit citizens in both countries. Normalizing Kosovo-Serbia relations would also enable both countries to realize their full potential and further integrate into the West.
The United States continues to support Kosovo’s aspirations for full Euro-Atlantic integration. In 2016, Kosovo entered into a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, the first step toward EU membership. Compliance with the SAA enhances trade between the EU and Kosovo, obligates Kosovo to align its legislation with EU standards, and furthers the ongoing political dialogue between the EU and Kosovo.
U.S. Assistance to Kosovo
U.S. Government assistance aims to help Kosovo become a just and prosperous democracy within Europe, offering equal opportunity and protections to all its citizens. U.S. foreign assistance to Kosovo targets the three goals of peace, justice and prosperity.
In furtherance of peace, U.S. assistance helps to advance normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, as well as increase cooperation among ethnic communities within Kosovo. Security assistance – such as military education, training, and equipment – advances U.S. national security goals in Kosovo, including the gradual, transparent transition of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) to a multi-ethnic, modern NATO-interoperable force with a territorial defense mandate.
In the promotion of justice, U.S. assistance seeks to build transparent and responsive government institutions, including those of law enforcement and the judiciary, combat corruption, fortify rule of law, and help to build a society in which marginalized and vulnerable groups (starting with women) have an equal voice and equal opportunity. Since 2017, the Ministry of Justice has led a multi-year justice sector review designed to generate a strategy and implement an action plan. The United States and the EU continue to heavily support these efforts.
To expand prosperity, U.S. assistance advances private sector competitiveness, helps Kosovo to ensure its energy security, improves the enabling environment for investment, and seeks to unlock the power of an entrepreneurial class, including an energetic and growing tech sector.
The United States also partners with the Kosovo government to implement a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Threshold Program supporting accountable governance and a reliable energy landscape in Kosovo. The government of Kosovo and MCC are also jointly developing a new Compact program, focused on energy supply, expected to be approved in late 2021.
In FY 2020, the United States Department of State and USAID combined provided $56.9 million in assistance funds. $2.7 million was allocated for COVID relief.
U.S. troops continue to participate in the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all of Kosovo’s citizens. The United States is the largest KFOR contributor of the 28 troop-contributing nations.
The Iowa National Guard-led State Partnership Program, launched in 2011, has the long-term goal of building and expanding partnerships with the KSF, which will help Kosovo promote regional security and cooperation. The Iowa-Kosovo partnership has expanded well beyond the security sector, into economic, commercial, and academic cooperation. Kosovo is the only country that maintains a consulate in Des Moines, Iowa. This partnership represents a best practice in the State Partnership Program.
We value Kosovo’s efforts in countering violent extremism in the region and applaud its efforts to reduce the threat of foreign terrorist fighters and other radicalized individuals in Kosovo through its repatriation and reintegration of its own citizens who joined ISIS, engagement with local communities, counter-messaging, and active contributions to the Defeat-ISIS coalition. Among the important steps made, Kosovo designated Hizballah in its entirety in June 2020.
Bilateral Economic Relations
U.S. investors in Kosovo are involved with projects in the construction, energy, health, information technology, and real estate development sectors. Kosovo is a beneficiary country under the Generalized System of Preferences program, which promotes economic development by eliminating duties on approximately 3,500 products imported from Kosovo.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo is one of the most active and well-respected business organizations in the country, and there are over 15 companies registered in Kosovo that have direct U.S. ties. Among the most active are Coca Cola, General Electric, KFC, Marriott, Cisco, Famous Famiglia, Burger King, Domino’s, TCI (a subsidiary of SPX Corporation), and Microsoft. There are also other U.S. goods being sold in Kosovo through distributors, as well as local UPS and FedEx offices.
Kosovo’s Membership in International Organizations
Kosovo is a member of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Council of Europe’s Development Bank and Venice Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Apostille Convention, the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, the World Customs Organization, the International Olympic Committee, the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions, the EUROPOL Law Enforcement cooperation agreement, and the International Federation of Football Associations. Kosovo has a number of diplomatic missions and consular posts worldwide.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Kosovo maintains an embassy in the United States at 2175 K St. NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20037 (tel. 202-380-3581).
More information about Kosovo is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
ACE Country Assistance Fact Sheet (PDF)
CIA World Factbook Kosovo Page
USAID Kosovo Page
History of U.S. Relations With Kosovo
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Millennium Challenge Corporation: Kosovo
Library of Congress Country Studies (see Yugoslavia (Former))