De Moscou à Sotchi

NEW YORK – Depuis ceux de Moscou durant l'été 1980 en pleine la Guerre froide, c'est la première fois que les Jeux Olympiques ont lieu en Russie. Bien des choses ont changé depuis du point de vue politique, mais les Jeux de Sotchi sont l'occasion d'examiner l'Histoire économique récente de la Russie et de considérer son avenir.

Beaucoup de gens qui se souviennent de l'écroulement de l'Union soviétique en 1991 et de la période tumultueuse qui a suivi croient que l'économie russe est aujourd'hui affaiblie et instable, loin derrière une Chine en plein boom. C'est faux ! Selon le FMI, en 2013 le revenu par habitant de la Russie (mesuré en parité de pouvoir d'achat) s'élevait à 18 600 dollars, presque le double de celui de la Chine qui est d'environ 10 000 dollars. Et d'après la Banque mondiale, l'extrême pauvreté y est quasi inexistante, alors qu'elle était de 11,8% en Chine en 2009 (année la plus récente pour laquelle les données sont disponibles).

Si l'économie russe a bénéficié récemment d'une politique macroéconomique efficace et du prix élevé du gaz et du pétrole, la chute du prix du baril de pétrole après 1985 a contribué à la crise économique en Union soviétique et en Russie à la fin des années 1980 et au début des années 1990. C'est un facteur important qui explique la difficulté de mise en œuvre des réformes économiques lancées par l'ancien président soviétique Gorbatchev et par le président russe Eltsine.

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