Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said Tuesday that he had ordered a halt to fighting in Georgia, although Russian soldiers were still under orders to “eliminate” any Georgian troops remaining in the separatist enclave of South Ossetia. (The New York Times)
What the commentators said
Los Angeles Times
The West must demand that Russia pull all of its troops out of Georgia. If the Kremlin resists, we should hit it with sanctions, such as kicking it out of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations. And “sending U.S. troops is out of the question,” but we can help Georgia defend itself by sending American military equipment.
Mikhail Gorbachev in The Washington Post
If the West really wants to help, it should stop egging on Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili by giving him unconditional support. After all, Saakashvili was the one who started the fighting over the weekend by trying to take over South Ossetia by force, putting Russian civilians and peacekeepers in danger.
The New York Times
Russian peacekeepers are a big part of the problem. They must be replaced with “truly neutral international peacekeepers” and all Russian troops must be withdrawn from Georgia. Until that happens, the only option is for the U.S. to deprive Russia of the “respect” and “economic deals” it craves.
The Wall Street Journal
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the real power in Moscow, is “betting that the West needs him for oil and deterring Iran's nuclear ambitions more than he needs the West." The best way to show him he’s wrong is to pass a stern rebuke at the United Nations Security Council, forcing Russia to exercise its veto. President Bush could also put Putin on the spot by saying that he “badly misjudged” the Russian leader.
The Boston Globe
The Bush administration helped start this crisis, “when it recognized the independence of Kosovo earlier this year without United Nations authorization, and against Moscow's wishes." The Kremlin warned that it might apply the same principle in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, so "Bush has left the United States little basis to protest.”
Editorial Source: TheWeek