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Le Retour de l’endiguement

VENISE – « Le principal élément de toute politique des États-Unis vis-à-vis de l’Union soviétique doit constituer en un endiguement de long terme, patient mais ferme », écrivait le diplomate américain George Kennan dans un article demeuré célèbre, paru en 1947 dans la Revue Foreign Affairs et signé « X ». Remplaçons « Union soviétique » par « Russie » et la « politique d’endiguement » préconisée par Kennan est encore aujourd’hui parfaitement sensée. C’est presque comme si rien, depuis soixante-dix ans, n’avait changé, bien que tout ait changé.

Certes, l’Union soviétique a été définitivement « endiguée », pourrait-on dire. Mais la Russie montre aujourd’hui les mêmes « tendances expansionnistes » contre lesquelles Kennan nous mettait en garde. Et le niveau de confiance entre la Russie et l’« Occident » n’a jamais été aussi faible depuis la fin de la guerre froide. Pour Vitali Tchourkine, ambassadeur de la Russie aux Nations unies, les tensions actuelles « sont probablement les plus graves depuis 1973 », lorsque la guerre du Kippour avait amené les États-Unis et l’URSS plus près d’une confrontation nucléaire qu’ils ne l’avaient jamais été depuis la crise des missiles à Cuba.

Ce pessimisme est justifié. En une année, les raisons de discorde avec la Russie se sont multipliées et renforcées. La Russie s’est retirée d’un certain nombre d’accords nucléaires et le Kremlin a récemment déployé à Kaliningrad, près de la frontière polonaise, des missiles à moyenne portée Iskander, qui peuvent être équipés de charges nucléaires.

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