In April 2014, Kiev authorities launched a military operation to suppress independence militia in Donbass. In February 2015, the two sides reached a ceasefire deal after talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine – the so-called Normandy Format — in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.
The crisis in Ukraine had a negative effect on the relations between Russia and the West. Brussels, Washington and their allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions since Crimea reunified with Russia in 2014 and over Moscow's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. Russia has repeatedly refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability.