Putin le joueur de poker

Il faut peut-être être un ancien espion du KGB pour qu'un dirigeant du Kremlin joue au poker diplomatique avec habileté. En effet, le président Vladimir Putin montre autant de maîtrise en diplomatie internationale que dans les affaires intérieures russes. Jamais depuis que Gustav Stresemann, le ministre des Affaires étrangères de l'Allemagne de Weimar, avait monté l'Union soviétique et l'Occident l'un contre l'autre, un dirigeant avec une main si pauvre n'avait abattu ses cartes de manière aussi efficace. Les derniers déplacements de Putin en Corée du Nord et ses pas de claquettes prudents en Irak n'en sont que les derniers exemples.

La diplomatie, dans sa forme traditionnelle, n'a jamais été la couleur forte de la Russie. Sous les tsars, la Russie était souvent isolée. Même lorsqu'elle concluait des alliances (la Triple Alliance avec l'Allemagne de Bismarck et l'empire des Habsbourg, ou l'Entente avec la France avant la Première Guerre Mondiale), la Russie était gardée à distance.

Les dirigeants russes traitaient généralement leur peur de l'isolation, et de l'encerclement, en faisant tout leur possible pour paraître menaçants. Dans l'ère soviétique, les distances entre la Russie et ses voisins sont devenues des gouffres infranchissables, l'URSS étant entourée d'états hostiles ou faibles et serviles. Staline s'est empressé de s'aliéner la Chine communiste après la révolution de Mao en 1949.

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