Russia has sharply criticized the planned European Union mission to Kosovo, saying the deployment without prior approval by the United Nations' Security Council violates international law.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued Moscow's latest criticism of Kosovo's declaration of independence in a statement Wednesday.

He said the EU mission violates a 2007 U.N. Security Council resolution that urges a political solution to Balkan conflicts. Resolution 1785 also calls for the preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region.

EU countries have agreed to deploy an 1,800 member police and judiciary mission to Kosovo in the coming weeks, to help its transition to a democratic country. Mission chief Pieter Feith says his personnel will be deployed throughout the territory.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet approved recognition of Kosovo Wednesday.

The United States and France have already extended formal recognition to the Pristina government, which declared independence from Serbia Sunday. Britain Wednesday named David Blunt its first ambassador to Kosovo.

Russia and China have joined EU members Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Slovakia and Romania in opposing an independent Kosovo. Those governments say approval of Kosovo's independence will encourage separatist movements across the globe.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.