El kampf de Putin

BRUSELAS – La invasión de Crimea por parte de Rusia es el ejemplo más brutal de una agresión en tiempos de paz que Europa haya presenciado desde que la Alemania nazi invadiera los Sudetes (Sudetenland en alemán) en 1938. Hoy tal vez prevalezca la idea de minimizar las "lecciones de Múnich", cuando Neville Chamberlain y Édouard Daladier apaciguaron a Hitler, al acceder a sus reclamos sobre Checoslovaquia. Pero si Occidente consiente a la anexión de Crimea -la segunda vez que el presidente ruso, Vladimir Putin, le ha robado un territorio a un estado soberano, luego de la invasión rusa de las regiones de Abjazia y Osetia del Sur en 2008-, los líderes democráticos de hoy sin duda lamentarán su inacción.  

En las capitales occidentales, la respuesta hasta ahora ha sido contradictoria. Los castigos que están en consideración -la expulsión del G-8, por ejemplo- serían ridículos si la amenaza a la paz de Europa no fuera tan grave. Putin ve la separación de la Unión Soviética como la mayor catástrofe de los tiempos modernos, y ha intentado inexorablemente reconstruir el imperio perdido de Rusia. Si Occidente pretende que se lo tome en serio, necesita actuar tan decididamente como Putin.

Los muchos éxitos de Putin en su proyecto imperial prácticamente se produjeron sin costos. Su Comunidad Económica Eurasiática ha acorralado a estados ricos en recursos energéticos como Kazajstán, Uzbekistán y Turkmenistán en territorio de Rusia. Georgia fue desmembrada en 2008. El gobierno de Armenia fue intimidado para rechazar la oferta de la Unión Europea de un Acuerdo de Asociación.

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