Diplomats are meeting in Paris in the Normandy Format. We explain.

As part of a frenzied diplomatic effort to confront the conflict in Ukraine, there have been a virtual summit between President Biden and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, as well as meetings between top diplomats in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna.

On Wednesday, when envoys from France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine met in Paris, it marked the resurgence of something known as the Normandy Format, a diplomatic group that has periodically assembled since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

According to some analysts, this format has its advantages. By excluding the United States, it prevents participants from getting bogged down in bilateral US-Russia disputes. But France and Germany, as the two biggest powers of the European Union and those that have suffered the most economically through EU sanctions on Russia, have enough political influence to proceed. serious negotiations.

Expectations for Wednesday’s meeting were low in part because they included senior officials from the four countries, not their leaders.

The group was formed on June 6, 2014, when the leaders of four countries met on the sidelines of the 70th anniversary of the Landing Day in Normandy, France, during World War II. This was the first meeting between Mr. Putin and Petro O. Poroshenko, then the leader of Ukraine, since the Russian invasion.

The Normandy format helped create a truce, known as the Minsk accords, in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have seized government buildings. But Russia and Ukraine dispute other steps, including disbanding armed groups in the region and a ceasefire has been violated many times.

The Normandy group was inactive from 2016 to 2019, when Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, called for a new effort to resolve the conflict in the east. Mr. Zelensky described the format is “the only platform for negotiations on a peaceful solution in eastern Ukraine.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/26/world/europe/diplomats-are-meeting-in-paris-under-the-normandy-format-we-explain.html Diplomats are meeting in Paris in the Normandy Format. We explain.

Fry Electronics Team

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