Reporting on the Minsk II Agreement: the Effect of Russian Narratives in French and German Media

Svitlana Kobzar

This Policy Brief is the second in a two-part feature that examines Russia’s ability to influence French and German narratives on the Minsk II agreement and Ukraine’s evolving position in the international system. While the first Policy Brief analysed the gap between Ukrainian-Russian interpretations of the Minsk II agreement, this Brief traces how these narratives are contextualised in French and German media landscapes. The research concludes that while there is a consistent presence of Russian narratives in public discourse in these countries, they had limited impact on their public opinion. The German/French news coverage of the Minsk II agreement as well as the role of Russia and Ukraine in its implementation differs from Russian-sponsored news. The Brief analyzes the wider diplomatic relations between Germany, France and Russia, particularly focusing on the deteriorating relations before the Ukraine crisis.