Putin dans le déni

WASHINGTON, DC – Alors que 2014 touchait à sa fin, une énorme crise financière a éclaté en Russie. Les prix du pétrole avaient chuté de près de moitié depuis la mi-juin, et le rouble a plongé en décembre, terminé l'année par une diminution du même ordre de grandeur. Les réserves internationales de la Russie ont chuté de 135 milliards de dollars et l'inflation a atteint deux chiffres. Les choses ne vont faire qu'empirer.

Le prix actuel du pétrole va forcer la Russie à réduire ses importations de moitié – ce qui, avec la hausse continue de l'inflation, diminuera considérablement le niveau de vie des Russes. Si vous ajoutez à cela la corruption qui ne cesse de s’aggraver et un gel sévère de la liquidité, un effondrement financier, accompagné d'une baisse de 8 à 10% de la production, semble probable.

La capacité de la Russie à traverser sa situation actuelle repose sur son puissant président, Vladimir Poutine. Mais Poutine continue à refuser d’agir ; en fait, jusqu'à présent, il a prétendu qu'il n'y a aucune crise du tout. Dans ses deux grandes apparitions publiques en décembre, Poutine a simplement parlé de la « situation actuelle ». Dans son message de vœux du Nouvel An, il s’est vanté de l'annexion de la Crimée et du succès des Jeux olympiques d'hiver à Sotchi, en évitant soigneusement toute référence à l'économie.

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