BTiP 2023, nr 3 – Artykuł 6

France towards the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in the Donbas between 2014 and 2022

Tomasz Młynarski | Jagiellonian University in Kraków
ORCID 0000-0002-7713-6307

„Bezpieczeństwo. Teoria i Praktyka”, 3/2023, s. 95-106
DOI 10.48269/2451-0718-btip-2023-3-006
PDF: English

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse France’s actions in relation to the war in Ukraine between 2014 and 2022, based on three pillars: 1) providing support for Ukraine (ceasefire and cessation of military activities); 2) coordinating actions at the international level (TCG, UN, OSCE); 3) maintaining open channels of dialogue with Russia (Macron-Putin) as a pathway to diplomatic solutions. The paper is an attempt at assessing whether and to what extent the joint ‘agenda of trust and security’ proposed to Moscow by the President of France has influenced the policy of ‘de-escalation’ of the conflict and the reduction of Russia’s neo-imperial ambitions. What were the effects of the dialogue within the so-called Normandy Format and to what extent did it influence the implementation of the Minsk agreements? The author presents the conclusion that from the very beginning, the goal for Russia has not been so much to settle the conflict in the Donbas and restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity, but to permanently block Kiev’s aspirations for EU accession and to keep Ukraine within Russia’s sphere of influence. The references of the paper include official documents, statements from the main decision-making centres (the Élysée Palace, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France), recognised foreign policy journals (“Politique étrangère”), as well as analyses and studies (French Institute of International Relations, IFRI).
Key words: France, Normandy format, conflict, Donbas, diplomacy