Kosovo expects to get its own international dialling code eight years after it declared independence from Serbia, furthering the former province's bid for full international recognition.
Kosovo's government said on Tuesday that Austria had applied to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) requesting a code for Kosovo, which cannot apply itself because it is not a United Nations member.
Kosovo's independence is recognised by more than 100 countries, but not by Serbia or its powerful ally Russia.
Currently, Kosovo's fixed telephone lines can only be reached from outside using Serbia's country prefix +381, while the two mobile networks use the dialling codes of Monaco and Slovenia for incoming international calls.
The application for an individual code is the result of European Union-brokered dialogue and deals between Belgrade and Pristina to improve relations between the two sides, which fought a 1998-1999 war.
Kosovo's government received "official confirmation of Austria's application for a Kosovo country code from the European Union and the Austrian Embassy in Kosovo", said Tuesday's press release quoting Minister for Dialogue Edita Tahiri.
"Tahiri said that the telephone code of Kosovo will be +383. Receiving an international code from the ITU enables recognition of Kosovo's sovereignty internationally in the field of telecommunications," the press release said.
Tahiri expected the ITU to allocate the separate dialling code to Kosovo in March.