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27 Aug, 2008 01:30

World press split over Medvedev’s move

The events in the Caucasus have again fallen under the spotlight in the world’s media, with a mixture of reactions among journalists, although all agree the situation is complicated.

German daily Berliner Zeitung says: “Wishing Russia isolation was not only funny, but also counter-productive. Russia has again re-emerged as a great power, in an economic sense. Great powers can’t be isolated. They are always involved in big politics. The soothing of dangerous tensions worldwide is not possible without Russia’s participation, it’s impossible to find a solution for Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea and also Pakistan, if tensions rise there again.”

In Britain, The Times says: “If the events of the past fortnight in Georgia have demonstrated one thing clearly, it is that Russia will fight if it feels its vital interests are under attack. Mr Miliband needs to think hard before committing Britain to support NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine. He should look carefully at the widespread Western belief that Russia ”set a trap for Georgia“ in South Ossetia. There was no Russian trap. In recent years Moscow has made it absolutely, publicly and repeatedly clear that if Georgia attacked South Ossetia, Russia would fight.”

The British business daily Financial Times says: “Mr Medvedev has turned traditional Russian opposition towards self-determination and the integrity of national borders on its head. Russia opposed the independence of Kosovo for that reason. Now it is cynically copying the Kosovo model to score diplomatic points, but the circumstances are very different.”