Le problème de gaz de Poutine

HOUSTON – Les observateurs de la Russie s'intéressent à juste titre au dernier cessez-le-feu fragile en Ukraine, en cherchant à saisir les intentions du Président Vladimir Poutine. Mais il serait sage de ne pas négliger une autre lutte actuellement en cours et qui aura de profondes conséquences à long terme sur l'Europe et sur la capacité de Poutine à faire pression sur le continent.

En décembre dernier, la société géante russe Gazprom et une entreprise turque de pipeline ont signé un mémorandum d'accord sur la construction d'un gazoduc traversant la Russie vers la Turquie sous la mer Noire. Ce nouveau « Turkish Stream » est une alternative au pipeline de la mer Noire « South Stream » reliant la Russie à la Bulgarie, un projet que le Kremlin abandonné en décembre, en réponse aux sanctions imposées par l'Union européenne après l'invasion de l'Ukraine et l'annexion de la Crimée par la Russie.

Le projet South Stream n'a pas pu se conformer aux directives de l'UE en matière de concurrence et d'énergie, et l'annonce des 12 milliards de dollars du Turkish Stream risque de renforcer la réputation de la Russie comme partenaire peu fiable, accélérant ainsi la recherche par l'Europe de sources d'approvisionnement de remplacement. En effet, en risquant son marché le plus lucratif, Poutine fait montre d'un mépris quasi-suicidaire envers l'économie russe, apparemment au seul motif de confirmer son inimitié envers l'Ukraine.

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