EU Commissioner Competition Gazprom EU Commissioner/Wikton Dabkowski/Flickr

L'Europe contre Gazprom

NEW YORK – Pendant des années, le Président russe Vladimir Poutine a utilisé la dépendance de l'Europe à l'égard du gaz naturel de son pays comme une arme de politique étrangère, sans crainte que l'union européenne ne le mette au pied du mur - jusqu'à maintenant. Avec l'UE qui intente des poursuites pour violation des lois antitrust contre le conglomérat Gazprom géré par l'État, l'Europe envoie un signal clair : la grossièreté de Poutine n'est plus aussi intimidante que par le passé.

Le message du Commissaire européen chargé de la concurrence, selon lequel les règles du marché s'appliquent à tout le monde, est une règle que Poutine viole depuis des années. Le recours à des moyens économiques et juridiques pour atteindre ses objectifs politiques a longtemps été une caractéristique de son régime. Il y a plus de dix ans, le Kremlin a exproprié Yukos Oil, qui produisait à l'époque 20% de la production russe et a emprisonné son fondateur Mikhaïl Khodorkovsky pendant dix ans sur de fausses accusations d'évasion fiscale après qu'il ait osé s'opposer à Poutine.

Tous les principaux acteurs de l'économie russe axée sur l'énergie se sont rapidement alignés sur le plan politique, permettant à Poutine d'utiliser les exportations de pétrole et de gaz de son pays comme une massue géopolitique. Les pays de l'UE qu'il n'a pas réussi à intimider militairement, à cause de l'OTAN, ont été courtisés par des escomptes ou punis par des hausses des prix.

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