Russia has warned the European Union against plans for a police mission in Serbia's breakaway Kosovo province, saying such a move would first require United Nations' approval.

In a statement Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said any unilateral action to send peacekeepers to the province would violate international law.

EU leaders have approved plans for dispatch of a police and administrative mission to Kosovo when the province's ethnic Albanian leaders move, as expected, to declare independence from Serbia in the coming weeks. 

Serbia and its historical ally, Russia, oppose Kosovo independence, while key European countries and the United States support it.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declined last week to say whether he supports the EU deployment plans, or whether a previous Security Council resolution provides legal ground for the mission.

Moscow used a veto threat last year to derail a U.N. envoy's plan calling for internationally supervised independence for Kosovo. 

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