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Last Updated: Monday, 2 October 2006, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Georgia, Russia spy row worries press
Russian officer at Russian military HQ in Tbilisi
Tension in Tbilisi has been mounting daily

Commentators in the Georgian press are defiant over the detention of four alleged Russian spies, with one saying Tbilisi has slapped Moscow in the face "in front of the whole world".

Russian papers examine the wider context, saying that Russia and the US have "openly locked horns over Georgia".

EKA KVESITADZE IN GEORGIA'S 24 SAATI

The most important thing in this story is that Putin and his entourage realised the following: The time has come to give up their imperialist ambitions over Georgia; we are free and we will determine the future of our country on our own; the strength of their special services and their network of agents is a thing of the past; Russia's policy has begun to resemble an obsolete and rusty Russian tank that is good for nothing but intimidating people.

IRAKLI ALADASHVILI IN GEORGIA'S KVIRIS PALITRA

A diplomatic struggle is currently under way to preserve dignity. Moscow wants to get its spies back at any cost though without humiliating itself in front of Georgia. Tbilisi has attained its goal in principle and has slapped huge Russia in the face in front of the whole world though it also wants to get out of the impasse while keeping its dignity intact.

GIA KHUKHASHVILI IN GEORGIA'S REZONANSI

The United States is clearly a strategic partner of ours and it has proved this on a number of occasions through its support. We would have found ourselves in a most difficult situation today without it. However, we should understand that this support is not unconditional and it does not stem from our being pretty.

YULIYA PETROVSKAYA IN RUSSIA'S NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA

Having put the Georgian issue to the UN Security Council and Nato, Moscow suffered a serious defeat in the world arena. Such a scenario could have been predicted seeing the balance of forces in the UN Security Council. It is na´ve to expect an expression of concern over the actions of the Georgian authorities from the countries which usually express concern over the methods Russia uses to promote its interests in the region.

YELENA SHESTERNINA IN RUSSIA'S IZVESTIYA

Russia has failed to secure the support of the international community for its assessment of the "spy war" with Georgia. The UN Security Council did not adopt a statement on the situation in Georgia. Everything could have been predicted: Washington has already many times blocked similar documents which condemned the actions of its other ally: Israel. It is now the turn of another "younger brother", Georgia, to be saved from the wrath of the UN.

VLADIMIR SOLOVYEV IN RUSSIA'S KOMMERSANT

Vladimir Putin yesterday openly accused the West of supporting the Georgian authorities by saying that Georgia is acting "under the protection of foreign sponsors". He thus made it clear that Moscow's opponent in the current Russian-Georgian standoff is not Tbilisi but Washington. This means that Russia and the US have openly locked horns over Georgia and are not trying to hide this any more.

SERGEY STROKAN IN RUSSIA'S KOMMERSANT

Georgia - and not Georgia alone - is guaranteed massive American support in the near future. The guarantee of this lies in the new rivalry between Moscow and Washington, through the prism of which one increasingly regards events involving third countries. It does not matter any more whether it is about Georgia or Ukraine, Syria or Iran, China or Venezuela. Russian-American relations, which are returning to the principle of an eye for an eye, have become a key to understanding a large part of international politics.

MAKSIM YUSIN IN RUSSIA'S IZVESTIYA

[Georgian President Mikhail] Saakashvili's regime has acted in such a hostile way that the last illusions, if anybody still had them, have now been dispelled. It is not likely that we will ever be able to establish even respectful, civil relations, let alone friendly ones. We are doomed to confrontation.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




SEE ALSO
The press in Russia
16 Nov 05 |  Europe
Country profile: Russia
05 Sep 06 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Georgia
06 Sep 06 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Georgia
29 Sep 06 |  Country profiles

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