No roulette:

President Dmitri Medvedev promised European negotiators early Wednesday morning that Russia would halt its attacks on Georgia and begin withdrawing its troops. A few hours later, Russian tanks rolled into the strategic crossroads town of Gori — just 40 miles from Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi.

We’re not sure if that means Medvedev isn’t in charge or that he was lying to buy more time to overthrow of Georgia’s democratically elected government. Either explanation is chilling. Europe and the US must make clear to Medvedev — and the real power player, PM Vladimir Putin — that more aggression and lies will not be tolerated. They must make clear that Russia will pay a price, in diplomatic standing and economic relations, if it does not withdraw its troops, agree to international mediation and permit the deployment of international peacekeepers to Georgia’s breakaway regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The US and its allies must warn that Moscow’s application to join the WTO will go nowhere so long as it is brutalising its neighbour. The EU should tell Russia that it will not pursue a political and economic cooperation deal until Moscow is willing to behave like a responsible partner. This invasion should never have begun. The US and Europe must insist that it end

now. — The New York Times