Normandy Format

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Meeting in the "Normandy Format" Paris, 9 December 2019

The Normandy Format talks (French: Format Normandie) involve four countries, Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France, whose representatives met informally during the 2014 D-Day celebration in Normandy, France, in an effort to resolve the war in Donbas.[1] It has also been known as the Normandy contact group.[2]

Creation and composition

The group was created on 6 June 2014, when leaders from France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine met on the margins of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day allied landings in Normandy.[3] It operates mainly through telephone calls between the leaders and their respective ministers of foreign affairs. The Normandy Format has sometimes been expanded to include Belarus, Italy and the United Kingdom.[4][5]


The initial phase consisted of five meetings during 2014, 2015 and 2016.[6]

Pause and 2019 meeting

Negotiations and talks were stalled from 2016 until autumn 2019.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his May 2019 inaugural address made peace talks with Russia his top priority. He reaffirmed that priority in July that year when he invited via YouTube the other nations to a dialogue. He said: "Let's discuss who Crimea belongs to and who isn't in the Donbas region."[7]

On 18 July 2019, a "comprehensive" cease-fire was agreed with arbitration by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine.[8]

In early September 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin stated their intention to hold a Normandy format meeting.[9] On 21 September, "continuing bickering" was cited as causing "a political tug-of-war" over the preliminaries to negotiations, as they had been since the Normandy Format meeting in 2016 in Berlin.[10] Also in late September, a phone call between US President Donald Trump and Zelensky in which the latter described the support of France and Germany as lukewarm damaged Zelensky's image in Europe.[11][12][13] On 10 October, Zelensky repeated his statement in a public news conference.[14] On 16 October, French and German leaders decided in favour of another Normandy Format meeting.[15]

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the March 2020 summit planned for Berlin was postponed.


A Normandy Format meeting between the four countries' representatives was held in Paris on 26 January 2022 in the context of the 2021–2022 Russo-Ukrainian crisis, to be followed by a telephone conversation between the French and Russian presidents on 28 January.[16][17] The representatives of the four governments confirmed their support for Minsk II and committed themselves to resolving existing disagreements. They supported an unconditional ceasefire, and supported strengthening of the 22 July 2020 ceasefire, independent of their disagreements about implementing other components of Minsk II. A followup meeting was planned to take place in Berlin a fortnight later.[18]

Country leaders






The first six meetings were held from 2014 to 2019.[6]

  1. France Château de Bénouville, Normandy, France — 6 June 2014 — the first meeting in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Operation Overlord
  2. Italy Milan, Italy — 16–17 October 2014 — as part of Asia-Europe Meeting[4]
  3. Belarus Minsk, Belarus — 11–12 February 2015 — Minsk II was signed
  4. France Paris, France — 2 October 2015
  5. Germany Berlin, Germany — 19 October 2016
  6. France Paris — 9 December 2019
  7. France Paris — 26 January 2022[16][17][18]
  8. Germany Berlin — a fortnight after 26 January 2022 (planned)[18]

See also


  1. ^ "Russia's Putin says supports future Normandy format talks on Ukraine". Thomson Reuters Foundation. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  2. ^ Brewster, Murray (11 September 2016). "Friends and foes alike don't see Canada as unbiased on Ukraine, experts say". CBC News. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  3. ^ de Galbert, Simond (2015-10-23). "The Impact of the Normandy Format on the Conflict in Ukraine: Four Leaders, Three Cease-fires, and Two Summits". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Archived from the original on 2022-01-27. Retrieved 2022-02-04.
  4. ^ a b "Accepting joint responsibility". German government. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Kremlin confirms telephone conference between Putin, Merkel, Hollande and Cameron - Vestnik Kavkaza".
  6. ^ a b "5 нормандських зустрічей. Як вони змінили хід війни на Донбасі".
  7. ^ "Ukraine's Zelenskiy proposes peace talks with Putin". 8 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Russia, Ukraine Agree 'Comprehensive' Cease-Fire in Donbass". The Moscow Times. 18 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Next Normandy summit to be held in Paris "in the next few weeks" : Elysee". Xinhua. 9 September 2019. Archived from the original on 2021-11-17.
  10. ^ "Ukraine summit in Paris delayed amid continued bickering". 21 September 2019.
  11. ^ "For Ukraine's leader, Trump memo on their call is a diplomatic car crash". Reuters. 25 September 2019.
  12. ^ "What does Germany do for Ukraine?". 2019-09-26.
  13. ^ "Why Zelenskiy Joined Trump in Trashing Germany". Bloomberg. 27 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Ukraine's Zelenskiy sticks to criticism of Merkel, Macron in Trump call". 10 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Conférence de presse conjointe d'Angela Merkel et Emmanuel Macron à Toulouse". 11:35 onwards: euronews. 16 October 2016.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  16. ^ a b "Political advisers to hold four-way talks on Ukraine in Paris". Thomson Reuters. 2022-01-22. Archived from the original on 2022-01-24. Retrieved 2022-01-25.
  17. ^ a b "Scholz, Macron say diplomacy can fix Ukraine-Russia standoff". Deutsche Welle. 2022-01-25. Archived from the original on 2022-01-25. Retrieved 2022-01-25.
  18. ^ a b c "Declaration of the advisors to the N4 Heads of States and Governments". President of France. 2022-01-26. Archived from the original on 2022-01-27. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
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