The United States warned Russia on Tuesday not to encourage separatists in the Republic of Georgia by comparing their cause to Kosovo's. On Monday, the United States, Australia and the European Union's biggest powers backed Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia.
Russia strongly opposes recognition of the breakaway Serbian province's claimed status. Russian officials hinted last week that if Kosovo should declare independence, Russia might retaliate by recognizing the independence claims of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; two Russian-supported regions are provinces of Georgia. (AP)