From Agence France Presse: Russia on Saturday warned Georgia its military reserves the right to use force if the ex-Soviet state continues ‘provocations’ in the Caucasus, one week ahead of the first anniversary of their 2008 war.

The Russian defence ministry accused Georgia of firing several times with mortars and grenades over the last four days on the capital of its rebel South Ossetia region which is recognised as independent by Russia.

“Such actions seriously worry the Russian defence ministry,” the ministry said in a statement on its website.

“If such provocations posing a threat to the population of South Ossetia and the Russian military continue, the defence ministry reserves the right to use all the forces and means at its disposal . . .”

A spokesman for the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia, Steve Bird, said monitors had investigated the reports of violations early Saturday but found no evidence of shooting.