Le menace russe en panne de carburant

BRUXELLES – Pour l’Europe, l’évènement décisif de l’année 2014 est l’annexion de la Crimée par la Russie et l’intervention militaire dans la région du Donbass, à l’est de l’Ukraine. Les actions du Kremlin viennent provoquer les principes essentiels qui ont guidé l’Europe depuis plus de six décennies, particulièrement la renonciation à l’usage de la force pour modifier les frontières nationales. Mais la Russie n’est pas en position de soutenir l’agressivité de sa politique étrangère.

Il a souvent été dit que la Russie réagissait à ce qu’elle percevait comme une ingression de son « proche voisinage » par l’Union Européenne et l’OTAN. Mais une explication plus simple nous est suggérée par l’histoire : une décennie de hausse régulière des prix du pétrole a enhardi la Russie, lui offrant toutes les opportunités possibles de déployer sa force militaire.

L’Union soviétique avait déjà connu un épisode similaire il y a quarante ans, lorsqu’une période prolongée de hausse des revenus pétroliers s’était traduite par une politique étrangère plus affirmée culminant avec l’invasion de l’Afghanistan en 1979. Le quadruplement du prix du pétrole suite au premier embargo de 1973 et la découverte d’importantes réserves dans les années soixante-dix sont à l’origine d’une hausse massive de la production soviétique. Donc, de 1965 à 1980, la valeur de la production pétrolière soviétique a presque été multipliée par 20.

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