L'Europe après l'Ukraine

PARIS – Lorsque des crises inattendues éclatent, les gens ont tendance à penser que plus rien ne sera jamais comme avant : c'est exactement la conclusion tirée par de nombreux Européens suite à l'annexion de la Crimée par la Russie. Ont-ils raison ?

Même si les dirigeants européens ont condamné quasi unanimement les actions de la Russie en Ukraine, les diagnostics sur la menace de sécurité causée par la Russie sont très variables. La Pologne et pays baltes sont parmi les pays les plus préoccupés par le comportement de la Russie. En revanche la République tchèque, la Slovaquie, la Hongrie et la Bulgarie restent circonspectes quant à l'adoption d'une approche conflictuelle : une position que partagent des pays comme l'Espagne et le Portugal, qui ne dépendent pas de la Russie pour leur approvisionnement en énergie.

Ces attitudes divergentes peuvent s'expliquer par de grandes différences entre les histoires nationales et les perspectives stratégiques des pays européens. La Pologne et la Russie ont envahi et occupé à tour de rôle le territoire de leur voisin pendant des siècles. L'Estonie, la Lettonie et la Lituanie ont toutes été des républiques soviétiques et à ce titre, leur opposition à la Russie a constitué un élément essentiel de leur processus de reconstruction. Comme d'importantes minorités russophones sont implantées en Estonie et en Lettonie, la justification du président russe Vladimir Poutine pour son annexion de la Crimée (la nécessité de défendre une ethnie soi-disant menacée) ravive immédiatement les angoisses les plus profondément ancrées de ces nations.

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