Russia's ambassador to Moldova said the country's leaders should avoid a "bloody and catastrophic trend of events" in the separatist Trans-Dniester region and pointed to the example of Georgia.
Ambassador Valeri Kuzmin spoke at a news conference in the capital of the former Soviet republic of Moldova late Tuesday, hours after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recognized the independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Kuzmin, speaking in the name of the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, acknowledged that the situation in the Russian-supported Moldovan region of Trans-Dniester, which is mainly populated by Russians and Ukrainians, differed from that of the Caucasus. He also said there was no sign of a Moldovan intention to escalate tensions.
Unlike the Georgian regions, neither Trans-Dniester nor the rest of Moldova, whose population is mostly Romanian-speaking, borders Russia.
Trans-Dniester, a long strip of territory on Moldova's eastern border with Ukraine, broke away from Moldova in 1990 and a war between Moldovan forces and separatists in 1992 left 1,500 people dead.
It is not recognized internationally, but is supported by Russia, which has 1,500 troops stationed there to guard weapons storage facilities left by the Soviet military.
Kuzmin said Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia because of "Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia," and said, "Moldova should draw its own positive conclusions after the conflict in South Ossetia."
"It is simply impossible ... to have Moldova behave in a similar way to Georgia," he said in Russian.
"I believe that (in Moldova) the leaders will use their wisdom ... to not allow such a bloody and catastrophic trend of events" here, he said.
But he added he was glad "there is no intention to escalate the situation in the security zone (a demilitarized area along the Dniester River) and I believe that there shouldn't be any."
Russia's President Medvedev met with Moldova's President Vladimir Voronin on Monday in the Black Sea port of Sochi to discuss Trans-Dniester.
After the meeting, Voronin said the issue would only be solved through negotiations. He said a solution to the conflict will be drafted based on current law that gives Trans-Dniester gives broad autonomy but within Moldova's borders.