Finland Could Recognise Kosovo Independence by Month's End

Finland will recognise the independence of Kosovo no earlier than February 29th, according to Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva.

According to Kanerva, Finland cannot recognise Kosovo's independence until President Tarja Halonen returns from her state visit to South-east Asia. In Finland, it is the president's job to formally recognise newly independent countries.

Speaking from Indonesia, President Halonen told the German news agency DPA that Finland will recognise Kosovo's independence when the time is right.

Meanwhile, Kanerva's press attaché Juha Kirstilä told the news agency AFP that Finland is starting preparations to recognise the new state. He said the process will likely take a few weeks.