Ministerial meeting in the Normandy format (Berlin, 11 June 2018)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves le Drian will travel to Berlin on June 11 to attend a ministerial meeting in the Normandy format.

Bringing together Ukraine and Russia, as well as Germany and France as co-mediators, this discussion format established four years ago on the sidelines of ceremonies marking the D-Day Landing on June 6, 1944, aims to resolve the Donbass conflict.

Attending his first ministerial meeting in the Normandy format, as is his German counterpart, the minister will express France and Germany’s hope that the parties will swiftly recommit to the implementation of the Minsk agreements of September 2014 and February 2015. The ministerial meeting in Berlin follows recent contacts between the heads of state and government of the Normandy format countries: a meeting between the French President and the German Chancellor with the Ukrainian President in Aachen on May 10, and trips to Russia by Madam Merkel and the French President on May 18 and May 24-25 respectively.

As President Macron emphasized on May 24 during his visit to Saint Petersburg, the coming months will be decisive. Without concrete advances on the political, humanitarian, economic, and security fronts, it’s the credibility of the current peace process that is at stake. Everything must be done to end a situation marked by hundreds of cease-fire violations each day, dozens of deaths each month, the use of heavy weaponry, and a deteriorated humanitarian situation for residents of the conflict zone.

France and Germany will therefore make proposals to Ukraine and Russia in each of these areas in order to build momentum for the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements and culminating with the return of Ukraine’s sovereignty over territories currently under separatist control within a framework of local autonomy.