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Page last updated at 14:31 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 15:31 UK

Press weighs conflict in Georgia

Russian troops in South Ossetia
Some commentators say there will now be no return to the status quo

Newspapers in Russia and Georgia consider the consequences of the conflict over South Ossetia.

Both sides say Russia's standing has diminished, and wonder what it means for Moscow's relationship with the West.

In the Georgian press, some commentators insist that Tbilisi's Western allies have an obligation to help it.

GEORGIY ILYICHEV IN RUSSIA'S TRUD

One repercussion of the new Caucasus war... is that it will irreversibly alter the future of our country... The bloodshed is to be blamed on everyone - Georgia, Russia and the West... It was not possible to allow people, most of whom had been given Russian passports in recent years, to be slaughtered. It was equally impossible for Moscow to reach any agreement with authorities whom we have grown accustomed to regarding as 'US puppets'.

KONSTANTIN REMCHUKOV IN RUSSIA'S NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA

The Russian leadership has made up its mind regarding its strategy in the region. It will be contributing to the territorial secession of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia in return for military-political and diplomatic guarantees.

MILITARY ANALYST ALEKSANDR KHRAMCHIKHIN IN RUSSIA'S IZVESTIYA

Georgia is incapable of conducting a prolonged war in principle... Given that Georgia has failed to win the lightning war, it has lost the war... It is totally out of the question for NATO troops to get involved. European armies are terrified of losses and a war against Russia is impossible as far as they are concerned.

GENNADIY SYSOYEV IN RUSSIA'S KOMMERSANT

The escalation of the conflict between Russia and Georgia... has caused the US and other Western countries to change their position radically. Not only did they call Moscow's actions 'dangerous and unacceptable' but they also threatened it with worsening of relations... This hardly promises a quick end to the combat action in Georgia and this threatens to lead to a serious cooling of relations between Russia and the West.

LASHA TUGHUSHI IN GEORGIA'S REZONANSI

Russia's international image has been harmed considerably. The country is unlikely to retain the role of a peacekeeper in this conflict. Moreover, Russia's ties with the West... are likely to deteriorate dramatically... If the status quo is preserved and Russia continues to dominate the Tskhinvali region, Saakashvili's pro-Western government will face problems domestically. Georgia could also be forced to engage in large-scale combat operations in Abkhazia.

POLITICAL ANALYST MAMUKA ARESHIDZE IN GEORGIA'S VERSIA

The pre-war situation in the Tskhinvali region will never be restored... We could reclaim the entire region, it could be divided or there could some other kind of a settlement...The West is now obliged to help us through diplomatic efforts, armaments and armed force... If this war continues, it will ruin the entire South Caucasus.

GIORGI KHUTSISHVILI IN GEORGIA'S REZONANSI

The passiveness of the West is a mistake. A fierce fight over an extremely important region is under way today. This is why it does make a difference whether or not Russia can attain its goals... If the leaders of the US and the EU are our friends and if they care... whether there is war and instability in the Caucasus, they must exert pressure on Russia.

IRAKLI ALADASHVILI IN GEORGIA'S KVIRIS PALITRA

Georgia is presently alone in the fight against a huge country like Russia. In truth, we should not pin too much hope on lazy old Europe. Countries that have experienced the grip of Russia's tentacles... are likely to give us stronger moral and, more importantly, material support than Germany, France or Italy... Immediate deployment of US armed units in Georgia is the best option today.

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.



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