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Page last updated at 12:37 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 13:37 UK

Press endorse Georgia war report

Russian soldiers place a Russian flag atop their tank in the South Ossetian town of Tskhinvali
The conflict over South Ossetia erupted in August 2008

Papers in both Georgia and Russia react calmly to the independent report into last year's war between the two countries.

The report, commissioned by the European Union, concludes that Georgia fired the first shots, but only after sustained provocation.

The press in both Georgia and Russia agree that the report is open to interpretation and that it will not benefit either side's international aspirations.

Georgian press

DATO GAMISONIA IN 24 SAATI

The report allows for different interpretation by the parties. This is precisely why the publication of the document may shift the ongoing information war between Georgia and Russia into another phase. However, as the document does not stand out for its extreme radicalism in support of one particular country, the sides express trust in the EU-sponsored commission.

SAKARTVELOS RESPUBLIKA

As expected, the initial assessments are quite ambiguous and both parties to the conflict are "justifying" their cause.

LILI KHMALADZE AND IA ABULASHVILI IN REZONANSI

At this stage, it is very difficult to analyse in detail the report on account of its size. However, the main point is already clear: Georgia started the war, but as a result of the extreme escalation by Russia in the region.

TEA MARKHVAIDZE IN AKHALI TAOBA

The report presented in Brussels yesterday criticises Georgia pretty much along with Russia. The Georgian president [Mikheil Saakashvili] said many times that Georgia was forced to become engaged in hostilities.

The report states that the commission does not agree with the statement by the Georgian authorities, and in particular by President Mikheil Saakashvili, that the hostilities were a forced response to the deployment of Russian troops through the Roki tunnel.

Russian press

ALEKSANDR GABUYEV IN KOMMERSANT

Neither Moscow nor Tbilisi have managed to prove to Europe that their military actions in August 2008 were justified... The report's conclusions will probably put paid to Tbilisi's hopes of joining Nato in the foreseeable future. At the same time, it clearly indicates that the EU will never support Russia's actions in the conflict and will never come to terms with the recognition of Sukhumi and Tskhinvali.

GEORGIY KUNADZE IN KOMMERSANT

Now the question is not who started it and who responded. The question is what to do next... There is no willingness to achieve a compromise... Russia, which is being squeezed out of Europe, is the main loser in this clash of ambitions.

NATALYA PORTYAKOVA IN VEDOMOSTI

The commission has concluded that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili started the war, having ordered his troops into South Ossetia on 7 August, but Moscow provoked the war to a great extent by supporting the Tskhinvali and Sukhumi authorities for many years, including issuing Russian passports to people in the republics and providing military support.

MIKHAIL VIGNANSKIY IN VREMYA NOVOSTEY

Over the past year Russia and Georgia have been trading accusations over who started the war... The balanced conclusions that have been reached by the Tagliavini commission could be cited by both sides. Still, the main conclusion about who started the conflict is definitely not in favour of Georgia and those Western politicians who have supported it.

BBC Monitoringselects 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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