There is a warning that a new war could break out in the Caucasus, if Georgia uses military force to bring the breakaway region of Abkhazia into line.
The stark words came from the Russian Defence Ministry after claims by Abkhazia’s separatist leader Sergei Bagapsh that Georgia had intended to take the region by force earlier this year.
He claimed Tbilisi had planned simultaneous military ground attacks around April and May, but he said Abkhazia succeeded in preventing an assault.
Abkhazia split from Georgia in a war during the 1990s, along with another separatist region, South Ossetia. Explosive violence in both breakaway areas this week has prompted the Russian president to tell the Georgian leader to stop stoking tensions there.
Dmitry Medvedev and Mikhail Saakashvili were at anniversary celebrations in Kazakhstan. Medvedev stressed the need to continue talks with all parties. Tbilisi has previously accused Moscow of trying to annexe the regions.