WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President George W Bush sharply warned Russia to end its war in Georgia, saying a "dramatic and brutal escalation" of the bloody fighting could cripple Moscow's ties to the West. In his sharpest-yet condemnation of violence that began late last week, Bush charged that Moscow may be aiming to overthrow the former Soviet republic's pro-Western government, led by President Mikheil Saakashvili. "Russia has invaded a sovereign neighbouring state and threatens a democratic government elected by its people. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century," Bush said in a hastily announced statement at the White House. The US president, emerging from a crisis meeting with his national security team, pressed Moscow to accept a Europe-backed peace plan that calls for an immediate ceasefire and the pull-back of forces on all sides. "Russia's government must respect Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty. The Russian government must reverse the course it appears to be on and accept this peace agreement as a first step toward resolving this conflict," he said.