Russia is continuing to show no sign of yielding to Western pressure to hasten its withdrawal from Georgia. Germany, Russiaâ€™s largest trading partner, has become the latest major power to express impatience over the pace of the pull-out â€“ which is turning into scepticism over Moscowâ€™s intentions.
The UN has been pushed to adopt a new Security Council resolution calling for an immediate withdrawal, but veto-holding Russia says the existing six point peace plan is enough.
Moscow has also announced plans to build a series of checkpoints in a buffer zone around South Ossetia and it says it will keep â€œpeacekeepersâ€ there as long as it thinks is necessary.
The G7 group of rich nations says it is ready to provide financial support to Georgia. Meanwhile, the Russian parliament will hold an extraordinary session next week, calling on the Kremlin to recognise the independence of Georgiaâ€™s pro-Moscow separatist regions.