Vladimir Radyuhin

MOSCOW: Russia said Georgia was preparing for invasion against its breakaway territory of Abkhazia and vowed to give a “tough response.”

The Foreign Ministry said Georgia had massed more than 1,500 troops in the demilitarised Kodori gorge area in Abkhazia near the line of control patrolled by Russian peacekeepers.

“Analysis of the structure of the armed forces present in this region prompts the conclusion that a bridgehead is being set up for launching military operations against Abkhazia,” said the Foreign Ministry in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement recalled that two Georgian spy drones had been shot down over Abkhazia recently.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it bolstered its peacekeeping force in Abkhazia in response to “provocative actions” by Georgian forces.