The Independent (UK) said that Russia has issued a stern warning and threatened a “horrible” conflict if Nato were to incorporate Georgia into the alliance.
In a warning to the West marking 10 years since the Russia-Georgia war, Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, said Nato’s plan to ultimately offer membership to the former Soviet republic was a “threat to peace”.
Radio Free Europe reports that Medvedev said in an interview with the Kommersant FM radio station on August 6 that NATO’s plans to eventually offer membership to Georgia are “absolutely irresponsible” and a “threat to peace.”
Mr Medvedev was the Russian president during the August 2008 war, which erupted when Georgian troops tried unsuccessfully to regain control over the Moscow-backed breakaway province of South Ossetia.
“There is an unresolved territorial conflict… and would they bring such a country into the military alliance?” Mr Medvedev said. “Do they understand the possible implications? It could provoke a horrible conflict.”
Mr Medvedev pointed to Moscow’s recognition of independence of South Ossetia and another separatist region, Abkhazia, and the Russian military bases there, saying that any attempt to change the status quo could lead to “extremely grave consequences”.
“I hope that Nato’s leadership will be smart enough not to take any steps in that direction,” he said.