Kosovans have experienced their first day under a new constitution, only four months after the disputed territory declared itself independent from Serbia.
The landmark move gives the ethnic Albanian government the right to execute powers held by the UN which has run Kosovo since 1999.
Kosovo’s President Fatmir Sejdiu signed the document along with the leader of the new assembly, declaring it an historic moment.
But the constitution threatens to worsen ethnic tensions between Kosovo’s Albanians and Serbs who make up less than 5 percent of Kosovo’s population.
Serbia’s President Boris Tadic has repeated his message that his country rejects Kosovo’s secession and continues to regard it as Serbia’s southern province and will defend its integrity by peaceful means.
A planned gradual UN handover to an EU
law-and-order mission continues to be hit by delays, due to opposition from Serbia’s ally Russia.
Moscow says the mission is illegal because it has not been approved by the UN Security Council.