Moscow severed all transport and postal links with Georgia despite the release of four Russian soldiers arrested by Georgian authorities on charges of spying.
Russian authorities also stopped issuing visas to Georgians, raided Georgian-owned businesses, and said they were considering barring Georgian immigrants from sending money home.
Saakashvili's National Movement party is competing against five other parties and blocs in the poll. First results are expected on October 6.
Moscow And Tbilisi
Russian military hardware being withdrawn from a Russian base in Batumi, Georgia, in August 2005 (TASS)
WHAT COMES NEXT? Although Russia is unlikely to push an aggressive military response to the current tensions with Georgia, it has a number of economic, political, and diplomatic options at its disposal. Already on October 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin summoned his inner circle to weigh Moscow's options... (more)