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20 May, 2008 11:05

Russian FM warns Georgia against force

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says it would like to see Georgia abstain from using force in resolving conflicts with its breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“I hope there will be no renewed bloodshed in the region and I hope that Georgia's government will keep away from the temptation to resort to force and to go on searching for external foes in order to explain to their people the problems which remain in the republic,” Sergey Lavrov said.

The statement comes amid renewed tensions in the region sparked by Georgia and its breakaway republic of Abkhazia accusing each other of escalating the situation.

Abkhazia says Tbilisi was planning a military operation within the republic and claimed they downed seven unmanned Georgian spy planes.

To ease the situation, Russia brought more peacekeepers to the region, causing a negative reaction from Tbilisi which accused Moscow of pushing the situation to the brink of war.