La marche impériale de Poutine vers la ruine économique

PARIS – Le débat autour de la Crimée n’est plus désormais centré sur le droit international : le président russe Vladimir Poutine a publiquement affirmé qu’il ne s’estimait nullement lié par ces règles, et que peu lui importait que le reste de la planète considère les agissements de la Russie comme illicites. L’incertitude porte désormais sur la question de savoir si l’économie russe pourra résister sous le poids des objectifs de Poutine en Ukraine.

Quelle que soit la réponse du monde occidental à la crise de Crimée, la Russie est vouée à subir un préjudice économique considérable. Songez tout d’abord aux coûts directs des opérations militaires entreprises, ainsi que du soutien apporté à un régime de Crimée dont l’économie se révèle cruellement inefficace (largement subventionné par le gouvernement ukrainien depuis des années). Bien que l’incertitude entourant le statut futur de la Crimée complique l’estimation de ces coûts, ils devraient très certainement s’élever chaque année à un total de plusieurs milliards de dollars.

Un coût direct de cette magnitude représente moins de 0,5% du PIB de la Russie. Bien que ce tribut ne soit pas négligeable, le pays a les moyens d’y répondre. La Russie vient tout juste de dépenser 50 milliards $ dans les Jeux olympiques de Sotchi, et prévoit d’investir encore davantage pour la Coupe du monde 2018. Le pays était jusqu’à récemment sur le point de prêter 15 milliards $ au gouvernement de l’ancien président ukrainien Viktor Ianoukovitch, et de lui octroyer chaque année quelque 8 milliards $ en subventions gazières.

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