( RIA Novosti ) - Kosovo authorities plan to open 20 embassies abroad, the deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed state, Hajredin Kuci, told journalists on Friday.
Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence on February 17, adopting a new national flag and national emblem. The province's sovereignty has so far been formally recognized by 36 countries, including the United States and most European Union members. Russia and China have consistently backed Belgrade's position that Kosovo must remain a part of Serbia.
Kuci said that the country plans to open embassies in the U.S., Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Albania and Croatia.
On Thursday, Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said that the first three diplomatic missions will be opened in Washington, New York and Brussels immediately after the new constitution takes effect on June 15. In the meantime Kosovo's needs to establish its Foreign Ministry.
The annual staffing costs for just one diplomatic mission are expected to be around $370,000 for "the world's newest state".
The U.S, Germany and Switzerland have so far opened embassies in Kosovo. Many countries, including Russia, have sent diplomatic missions to Pristina.