Normandy Format

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Normandy leaders in Minsk with president Lukashenko, February 2015.

The Normandy Format talks (French: Format Normandie) involve the representatives of the Normandy Four countries (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France) who aim to resolve the war in Donbass.[1] It has been also known as the Normandy contact group.[2]


The group was created on June 6, 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]

Negotiations and talks were stalled from 2016 until autumn 2019.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in his May 2019 inaugural address made peace talks with Russia his top priority. He reaffirmed this priority in July that year when he invited via YouTube his co-equal to a dialogue with the words[6]

On 18 July, a "comprehensive" cease-fire was agreed with arbitration by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine.[7]

The revelation in late September 2019 of a phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy, in which Zelenskiy described the support of France and Germany as lukewarm, damaged Zelenskiy's image among the Europeans.[8][9][10] On 10 October Zelenskiy repeated his statement in a public news conference.[11] Whereas on 21 September "continuing bickering" was cited as causing "a political tug-of-war" over the preliminaries to negotiations, as they had been ever since the Normandy Format meeting in 2016 at Berlin,[12] the 9 September agreement between Macron and Putin to reconvene quadripartite talks was duly remembered,[13] and the decision to hold new talks was cemented at a joint Franco-German leaders meeting on 16 October.[14]


There were six meetings.[15]

  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, France — 9 December 2019
  7. Germany GermanyMarch 2020*
  • *At the December 2019 talks, all parties agreed to meet in the Normandy Format again in March 2020 in Germany, but few additional details were agreed upon.

See also[edit]


  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. ^ "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". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  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. ^ "Ukraine's Zelenskiy proposes peace talks with Putin". 8 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Russia, Ukraine Agree 'Comprehensive' Cease-Fire in Donbass". The Moscow Times. 18 July 2019.
  8. ^ "For Ukraine's leader, Trump memo on their call is a diplomatic car crash". Reuters. 25 September 2019.
  9. ^ "What does Germany do for Ukraine?". 2019-09-26.
  10. ^ "Why Zelenskiy Joined Trump in Trashing Germany". Bloomberg. 27 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Ukraine's Zelenskiy sticks to criticism of Merkel, Macron in Trump call". 10 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Ukraine summit in Paris delayed amid continued bickering". 21 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Next Normandy summit to be held in Paris "in the next few weeks" : Elysee". Xinhua. 9 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Conférence de presse conjointe d'Angela Merkel et Emmanuel Macron à Toulouse". See 11:35 onwards.: euronews. 16 October 2016.
  15. ^