Russia's ambassador to Nato, Dmitry Rogozin, said there could be
no "consultations" with Georgia until Georgian forces returned to
their positions and re-established "the status quo".
Accounts differ over who controls South Ossetia's capital, with
Moscow saying it has "liberated" Tskhinvali.
In another development, separatists in Abkhazia - Georgia's other
breakaway region - said they had launched air and artillery strikes
on Georgian forces in the Kodori Gorge.
The crisis began spiralling when Georgian forces launched a
surprise attack on Thursday night to regain control of South
Ossetia, which has had de facto independence since the end of a
civil war in 1992.
The move followed days of exchanges of heavy fire with the
In response to the Georgian crackdown, Moscow sent armoured units
across the border into South Ossetia.
The BBC's Richard Galpin in Gori heard loud explosions and saw
large plumes of smoke rising into the sky; soldiers and civilians
were seen running through the streets.
Injured civilians were being pulled from the buildings, which
were on fire.
The Georgian foreign ministry said the Black Sea port of Poti,
the site of a major oil shipment facility, had been "devastated" by
a Russian air raid.
Meanwhile Georgian TV reported that the Georgian-controlled
section of the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia was under fire, blaming the
bombardment on Russian forces.
The foreign minister in Abkhazia's self-declared government,
Sergei Shamba, said Abkhaz forces had launched an attack aimed at
driving Georgian forces out of the gorge.
It was not clear whether planes used in the attack on the gorge
belonged to Russia or to the Abkhaz separatists.
Russia has a peacekeeping force in Abkhazia under an agreement
made following civil wars in the 1990s, when the region declared
independence and formed links with Moscow.
President Medvedev said Russia's military aim in South Ossetia
was to force the Georgians to stop fighting.
Russian minister defends action
"Our peacekeepers and the units attached to them are currently
carrying out an operation to force the Georgian side to [agree to]
peace," he said.
"They also bear the responsibility for protecting the
Speaking to the BBC, the Russian foreign minister insisted his
country did not want all-out war with Georgia, but was prepared to
do whatever was necessary to restore the situation in South Ossetia
and to defend its civilian population, most of whom have been given
"Mr Saakashvili keeps saying that we want to chop off a part of
Georgian territory," Mr Lavrov said.
SOUTH OSSETIA TIMELINE
1991-92 S Ossetia fights war to break
away from newly independent Georgia; Russia enforces
2004 Mikhail Saakashvili elected
Georgian president, promising to recover lost
2006 S Ossetians vote for independence
in unofficial referendum
April 2008 Russia steps up ties with
Abkhazia and South Ossetia
July 2008 Russia admits flying jets
over S Ossetia; Russia and Georgia accuse each other of
7 August 2008 After escalating
Georgian-Ossetian clashes, sides agree to ceasefire; however
Georgia launches a surprise attack
8 August 2008 Russia sends in columns
of armour and troops and fighting erupts with Georgian forces
in and around Tskhinvali
9 August 2008 Russian jets bomb central
Georgian town of Gori, Russia says its troops have "liberated"
"He's also saying that this is not just about Georgia, this is
about the future of Europe because he says Russia is also making
territorial claims to other [countries], including the Baltic
states, which is rubbish."
Mr Lavrov said Georgia had violated a peace deal under which
Georgia had agreed not to use force in the South Ossetian dispute.
The BBC's James Rodgers in Moscow says diplomatic initiatives to
end the fighting have so far proved fruitless.
On Friday evening, the UN Security Council failed to agree on the
wording of a statement calling for a ceasefire.
The UK, the US and France, are pinpointing what they say is
Russia's aggression as the key factor in the slide towards war,
while Moscow insists Georgia is to blame.
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