The US has strongly criticised Russian military action against Georgia, in the bitter conflict over South Ossetia.
In a telephone call to Georgia's leader Mikhail Saakashvili, the US Vice President, Dick Cheney, said Russian aggression "must not go unanswered".
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The BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says Dick Cheney's telephone call appears to have been an effort to send a message not just of solidarity but also of readiness for action.
Mr Cheney said the continuation of violence against Georgia would have serious consequences for Russia's relations with the US, as well as the international community.