Poland and the Baltic states came together today to issue a harsh condemnation of Russia for what they described as aggression in Georgia and urged NATO and the European Union to oppose it.

The former Soviet republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and Poland, a client state of Moscow under communism, are wary of a resurgent Russia using its muscle to again dominate its neighbours.

"The European Union and NATO must take up the initiative and oppose the spread of imperialist and revisionist policy in the east of Europe," said the statement from the presidents of the four countries.

The appeal followed Russia's bombing of Georgia in the conflict over South Ossetia, where Russian troops are backing separatists fighting a Georgian attempt to bring the territory under control. Georgia is another former Soviet state.

Moscow accuses Georgia of aggression and says it is protecting its citizens in South Ossetia.

The statement from Poland and the Baltic countries said they would use every available means to ensure that Moscow's "aggression against a small state in Europe is not passed over in silence or with meaningless statements equating the victims with the perpetrators."

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has said the conflict with the Russians could have consequences elsewhere.

"They have claims to Crimea, in Ukraine, they have claims to some parts of the Baltic countries, they have claims to some parts of eastern Europe. If you know, they have a free hand and free rights here in Georgia everybody will be unsafe," Saakashvili said in the Georgian capital Tbilisi yesterday.

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.