Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that any future NATO decision to admit Georgia to its ranks could trigger “a terrible conflict” and questioned why the alliance would consider such a move.

Medvedev’s comments come weeks after President Vladimir Putin warned NATO against cultivating closer ties with Ukraine and Georgia, saying such a policy was irresponsible and would have unspecified consequences for the alliance.

“This (Georgia’s entry to NATO) could provoke a terrible conflict. I don’t understand what they are doing this for,” Medvedev told Russia’s Kommersant newspaper in an interview.

Georgia’s NATO ambitions have been a source of anger for Russia – which shares a border with ex-Soviet republic Georgia and does not want to see it join what it regards as a hostile military bloc – since 2008 when NATO leaders promised Georgia it would one day join the alliance.