A tense quiet holds in Kosovo as the nation initiates its independence from Serbia. NATO peacekeepers believe they have the situation under control. A recent study reveals people in Kosovo are among the most optimistic in the world regarding what the future holds. The feeling of optimism comes from having the support of the European Union even though Russia is violently against the action. The choice of Sunday, Februaryy 17, was intended to link with the meeting of 27 EU member states in hope there would be quick recognition of the event. There are 3,300 French troops stationed in northeastern Kosovo in case any action is taken by Serbians in that region to circumvent the independence process.
It is reported the Serbian army has agreed to observe a five-kilometer corridor to avoid any conflict with European Union forces. The original fear the northeast heavily Serbian area would break away and declare its independence from Kosovo apparently has disappeared. EU officials expect rhetoric to be present in Serbian comments about the Kosovo action, but there is little concern any form of violence will ensue. The EU intends to make certain ethnic rights of Serbians in the new nation of Kosovo are protected.