The European Union and Russia have failed in 11th-hour talks to narrow differences over the future of Serbia's breakaway Kosovo province. But Moscow says it has no plans to impose sanctions on the province, if and when it declares independence from Serbia.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the comments after meeting with top European Union officials outside the Slovenian capital.

Serbia and its traditional ally Russia have voiced strong opposition to Kosovo's upcoming declaration of independence, which is expected within days. The United States and most European governments back Kosovo independence.

Lavrov said he is not optimistic about progress on the issue at Thursday's United Nations Security Council meeting on Kosovo.

Meanwhile, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has appealed to Kosovo Serbs to remain in the disputed province, despite the expected declaration of independence.

Mr. Kostunica also said today that Serbia's parliament is ready to pre-emptively rule any independence declaration invalid.

Serbian leaders met Tuesday in Belgrade to discuss retaliatory measures against Kosovo and Western governments that support the province's independence push. Details of the measures have not been disclosed.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.