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Media Takes on Russo-Georgian Tensions
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 3 Oct.'06 / 13:38

On October 3 tension between Russia and Georgia was again the top news in the press in both countries.
Rezonansi, Georgia

"Release of the Russian officers was not enough for the Kremlin; as a result additional sanctions have been imposed on Georgia. Deportation of Georgians from Russia has been launched; air, land, sea and railway connection has also been suspended. Russian-Georgian relations are deadlocked. It is clear that Russia has not forgiven Georgia’s pinch."

24 Saati, Georgia

"The spy scandal between Russia and Georgia is now over, but relations between the two countries are further deteriorating. Russian officers have returned back to their homeland [as the result of] international pressure, but Russia has not given up its plan to punish Georgia and decided to impose a total blockade on Georgia…. For Russia any kind of compromise, especially from a small country, means a sign of weakness and they push weak to the end. The demonstration of a mentality of a street hooligan has brought little positive to Russia, but this way of thinking by society and the elite inside Russia makes Moscow act this way."

Kommersant, Russia

"The Kremlin has imposed a number of sanctions on Georgia and a compromise from Tbilisi has already failed to stop the ongoing engine… A decision to launch a transport-postal war with Georgia was approved at the Sunday session of the Russia’s Security Council under the chairmanship of President Putin. According to the information obtained by [the Kommersant] the session also discussed a plan of a special operation aimed at release of four Russian officers. But after Tbilisi announced the intention to hand over the officers, the special operation was canceled, but it was decided to impose a blockade… A Kremlin source admitted that sanctions against Georgia [cutting air, sea, land, railway and postal links] were not a response to the arrest of the Russian officers, but it was a response towards Georgia’s entire foreign policy… A Kremlin source also said that he doubts sanctions will be lifted even after the Georgia’s softened stance. 'In order to prevent sanctions of this kind in the future, we need guarantees. No one will negotiate with you, if you act like a street hooligan. There are various ways of co-existence and "cold peace" is among them,' a Kremlin source told Kommersant."

Moskovsky Komsomolets, Russia

"It is now possible to take a breath and calm down, as four Russian officers have been unexpectedly released… But this does not mean a victory in a war, or even in a battle. The most interesting is still ahead… For the United States, Saakashvili and even Georgia itself with its unrecognized republics is a pawn in a great geopolitical game. The goal of this game is to gain control over as much energy resources as possible. The goal of Washington, at this stage of struggle, is to separate Georgia from Russia and to turn [Georgia] into its major stronghold in the South Caucasus."

Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia

"After Sunday’s Security Council, President Putin described the policy of Mikheil Saakashvili’s regime as 'state terrorism with hostage-taking' – an assessment that promised nothing good for Tbilisi. Putin has never said these kinds of harsh words towards any leader of any country before… Saakashvili himself sensed this tough stance of the Kremlin. Putin’s statement seems to impress Saakashvili. So the boy who was throwing stones in the bear’s den saw that the bear was disturbed and ready to stand up. But there is nowhere to run. NATO is far away; EU is neutrality; the UN Secretary General – what a surprise – has condemned the arrest of the Russian officers."

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