The Kosovo parliament on Friday voted to create a full-fledged army, in a move set to anger Serbia at a time when tensions between the neighbours are already at a peak.
All parties in the 120-seat parliament in Pristina, excluding lawmakers from the Serb minority who boycotted the vote, passed a package of three laws to establish a defence ministry, and ultimately transform the existing security force, the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), into an army.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has accused Pristina of "beating war drums" and threatening Serbs living in the breakaway region.
Serbia continues to claim the predominantly Albanian Kosovo as its own, despite the region having declared independence nearly 11 years ago.
Last month, Belgrade blocked Kosovo from joining the Interpol law enforcement agency and Pristina responded by imposing trade tariffs on Serbian goods.
The ongoing row prompted NATO Secretary Generals Jens Stoltenberg to describe the push to establish an army as "ill-timed."