US says Russia faces international isolation

America has warned Russia it faces being cast into the international wilderness if it does not withdraw from Georgia. President Bush despatched his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to France and Georgia, to underline Washington’s support for Tbilisi and its anger at Moscow’s actions.

“This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, where Russia can threaten its neighbours, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it,” Rice said. “Things have changed.”

Rice is not expected to go to Moscow, but as she headed towards the region, South Ossetian and Abkhazian leaders signed the six-point peace plan at the Kremlin.

France has led the mediation to end the crisis, and Moscow urged Paris to persuade Georgia to sign a binding agreement not to attack its separatist regions.

Russia also said it would accept Western observers in South Ossetia, to monitor the fragile ceasefire.

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