Paul Lachine

No Country for Young Oligarques

CAMBRIDGE – Propriétaire de mines d’or en Sibérie et d’une équipe de basketball professionnelle aux États-Unis, Mikhail Prokhorov est l’un des hommes les plus riches de Russie, avec une fortune estimée à 18 milliards de dollars. En juin dernier, il a accepté de diriger un parti politique de centre-droite dans la bataille des élections parlementaires de décembre. Prokhorov, âgé de 46 ans, a dû penser que son expérience dans les affaires boosterait ses perspectives politiques.

Prokhorov s’est trompé, et a démissionné en septembre de son poste de direction du parti. Mais quel que soit son embarras, il peut s’estimer plus heureux que Mikhail Khodorkovsky, autre oligarque russe aux ambitions politiques, qui purge aujourd’hui sa huitième année d’emprisonnement pour s’être audacieusement opposé aux idées de Vladimir Poutine sur sa manière de conduire la Russie.

Le retrait de Prokhorov a précédé de quelques jours l’annonce par Russie Unie, le parti au pouvoir dans le pays, selon laquelle Poutine allait briguer en 2012 un troisième mandat présidentiel, échangeant de poste avec l’actuel président Dmitri Medvedev, qui deviendrait alors Premier ministre. Sans doute trop pour Alexei Kudrin, ministre des Finances depuis 2000, dont le désaccord à l’encontre de l’augmentation des dépenses décidée par Medvedev l’a amené à démissionner.

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