Kosovo's parliament in Priština approved legislation on 14 December to establish a defence ministry and transform the lightly-armed 2,500-strong Kosovo Security Force (KSF) into a full-fledged 5,000-strong armed force with 3,000 reservists.
The parliamentary vote was boycotted by deputies representing the 120,000-strong Serb minority in Kosovo, which does not recognise Kosovo's independence from Serbia. Belgrade strongly opposes the creation of Kosovo armed forces out of a fear that their main aim will be to chase Serbs out Kosovo's north.
Serbia sees the move as a major violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 that ended the 1998-99 war in what was then the Serbian province of Kosovo.
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