Des sanctions dangereuses

BERLIN – Avec l'aggravation de la crise en Ukraine, les USA et l'UE sont prisonniers d'une bataille volonté contre volonté et sanctions contre sanctions avec la Russie. Face aux sanctions financières décidées par l'Occident, à titre de représailles la Russie a annoncé un embargo sur les importations de produits alimentaires et agricoles en provenance des USA et de l'UE. Mais le véritable risque pour l'Occident est celui d'une crise financière mondiale déclenchée par ses propres sanctions contre la Russie.

Considérons la crise financière russe de 1998. Au mois d'août cette année là, le président russe Boris Eltsine déclarait : "Il n'y aura pas de dévaluation, point final !". Mais trois jours plus tard le rouble était dévalué et les marchés financiers russes s'effondraient. Confrontés à la fuite des  capitaux, le gouvernement russe a été obligé de restructurer sa dette et l'économie a sombré dans la dépression.

Le poids financier de la Russie était alors insignifiant, pourtant la crise russe a été lourde de conséquences : elle a exacerbé la baisse de confiance des investisseurs dans les pays émergents et culminé moins de quatre ans plus tard avec le défaut souverain de l'Argentine, l'un des pays les plus affectés. Même les USA et l'Europe ont été touchés, notamment avec l'effondrement du prestigieux fonds d'investissement LCTM (Long-Term Capital Management) qui a alimenté l'inquiétude quant à la viabilité de beaucoup d'autres institutions financières. 

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