Serbian President Boris Tadic says his country will do all in its power to maintain Kosovo as part of Serbia but will also continue efforts to build ties with the rest of Europe.
The Serbian leader's comments came as the country's parliament debated a resolution that would limit ties with countries that recognize Kosovo's independence. The resolution would also reject signing of an agreement on building ties with the European Union unless the accord specifically recognizes Serbia's sovereignty over the breakaway province. The resolution also says a proposed EU mission in Kosovo would jeopardize Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Leaders of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority have pledged to declare independence in the near future.
Many western countries, including the United States have backed the plan, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reiterating that Kosovo will never again be part of Serbia.
Serbia, backed by Russia, says any decision on Kosovo must be made within the United Nations framework and be acceptable to both sides. Russia has threatened to veto any U.N. Security Council Resolution backing Kosovo independence.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.