C’est un exercice militaire d’envergure qui se prépare en Russie, dans le centre et l’Est du pays : « Vostok 2018 » devrait réunir près de 300 000 soldats entre le 11 et le 15 septembre prochain. Il s’agit de l’exercice le plus imposant depuis la fin de la guerre froide, a affirmé ce mardi 28 août le ministre russe de la Défense, Sergueï Choïgou. La Russie entend montrer ses muscles jusqu’en Asie, tandis que ses relations avec l’Europe sont mal en point et celles avec les États-Unis au plus bas. Alors que le Japon s’est récemment plaint du renforcement militaire russe en Extrême-Orient, la Chine, elle, participera à l’exercice.
Russie : manœuvres militaires d’envergure et rapprochement avec la Chine
Le point de vue de Arnaud Dubien
What are we to make of Russia’s Vostok (East)-2018 exercise? From 11–15 September Russia’s Far East will host Vostok-2018 the largest Russian military exercise since Zapad (West)-1981. According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, this latest exercise will engage some 300,000 Russian troops, over 1000 aircraft, the Pacific and Northern Fleets, the entire Airborne forces, Mongolian and 3200 Chinese troops, including 30 aircraft and fixed-wing helicopters.
By intervening in Syria, annexing Crimea, and sustaining military presence in Eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to have overextended himself. With an annual growth rate of just 1.5%, Russia is now expending 5.3% of its GDP on its military budget, while losing another 3-4% to legal, civilian, and other costs.
The meeting between the Russian and South African presidents at the recent BRICS summit in Johannesburg was particularly valuable marking the birth of a new stage in bilateral relations. The course for all-out cooperation was sealed by the signing of a Joint Statement.
Much like Europeans do not fully grasp the angst generated by prospects of Western-incited regime change in Russia, Russians dismiss far too easily how toxic in the EU is Moscow’s political and financial backing of European extreme right-wing movements. Both are viewed as direct threats to existential interests. So long as that deep-seated mistrust regarding each other’s destructive intent toward one another prevails, channels for cooperation will remain limited, and cooperation at the global level will be ad hoc and transactional.
Nathalie Tocci is Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Honorary Professor at the University of Tübingen, and Special Adviser to EU HRVP Federica Mogherini, on behalf of whom she wrote the European Global Strategy and is now working on its implementation, notably in the field of security and defence. Previously she held research positions at the Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels, the Transatlantic Academy, Washington and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Florence. Her research interests include European foreign policy, conflict resolution, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
The most memorable developments in Russia’s foreign policy in the past year include a breakthrough in the Middle East; a further escalation of the confrontation with the United States; continued alienation from Europe; and a tactical advance in Asia. Russia has significantly expanded its foreign policy arsenal, but there is still a sharp contrast between the country’s foreign policy ambitions and the limited capabilities of its economy.
Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, has been with the center since its inception. He also chairs the research council and the Foreign and Security Policy Program. He retired from the Russian Army in 1993. From 1993–1997, Trenin held a post as a senior research fellow at the Institute of Europe in Moscow. In 1993, he was a senior research fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome.