Crimée et Sudètes, même combat ?

BRUXELLES – La prise de contrôle de la Crimée par la Russie constitue le plus grave exemple d’agression en temps de paix que l’Europe ait connu depuis l’annexion des Sudètes par l’Allemagne nazi en 1938. Il est certes aujourd’hui d’usage de minimiser l’importance des « leçons de Munich » lorsque l’on évoque cet épisode qui vit Neville Chamberlain et Édouard Daladier accéder aux revendications d’Hitler sur la Tchécoslovaquie afin d’apaiser le führer. Néanmoins, si le monde occidental venait à fermer les yeux sur l’annexion de la Crimée – deuxième cas d’invasion d’un territoire souverain par le président russe Vladimir Poutine, après la prise des régions géorgiennes d’Abkhazie et d’Ossétie du sud en 2008 – les leaders démocratiques actuels pourraient fort regretter leur inaction.

Au sein des capitales occidentales, les réactions se sont jusqu’à présent révélées mitigées. Les sanctions actuellement envisagées – une expulsion du G8, par exemple – pourraient faire sourire si la menace pour la paix en Europe n’était pas aussi sérieuse. Poutine considère l’effondrement de l’Union soviétique comme la plus grave catastrophe de l’époque moderne, l’homme s’efforçant sans relâche de ressusciter un empire russe déchu. Si l’Occident entend être pris au sérieux, il va lui falloir agir avec la même détermination dont fait preuve Poutine.

Les nombreuses réussites du président russe dans le cadre de son projet impérialiste ne lui ont jusqu’à présent quasiment rien coûté. Son initiative en faveur d’une Communauté économique eurasienne a permis de rallier à la Russie un certain nombre d’États riches en ressources énergétiques, tels que le Kazakhstan, l’Ouzbékistan et le Turkménistan,. La Géorgie a été démembrée en 2008. Quant au gouvernement arménien, les intimidations russes l’ont poussé à rejeter l’accord d’association proposé par l’Union européenne.

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