Élargissement de l’OTAN à l’Est

BERLIN: Le prochain sommet de l’OTAN se tiendra à Prague au cours de l’hiver 2002 si, bien sûr, le Président Bush ne réunit pas ses alliés d’ici là. Mais les questions à traiter au cours de la préparation de ce sommet sont déjà clairement posées : à quel pays proposera-t-on de rejoindre l’OTAN, si toutefois un élargissement a lieu ? Quand se fera cet élargissement ? Quelles que soient les décisions prises, il est en outre évident que les travaux préparatifs devront commencer le plus tôt possible, et quoi qu’il arrive avant la fin de cette année.

La situation d’aujourd’hui est bien différente de celle de 1997, quand la Pologne, la Hongrie et la République Tchèque rejoignirent l’OTAN. À l’ époque, les conclusions du sommet de Madrid qui allait consacrer leur adhésion restèrent incertaines jusqu’au dernier moment. Cette incertitude fut levée quand les États-Unis réussirent à limiter les invitations à trois pays, heureux élus, surprenant les membres de l’Alliance qui soutenaient d’autres candidats.

Aujourd’hui, la principale question à laquelle l’OTAN doit répondre est de savoir s’il faut ou non admettre les États baltes – Estonie, Lettonie et Lituanie – dès maintenant, dans un délai respectable ou jamais. Rejeter ou reporter l’adhésion des États baltes serait perçu comme une concession envers la Russie. Et agir en leur faveur serait considéré par Moscou comme un affront.

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