The Potsdam Meetings

The Potsdam Meetings is a Russian-German conference on political, economic and society-related problems, which brings together high-level participants to discuss important issues of cooperation between Russia and Germany.

The first Potsdam Meetings took place in 1999 in the form of a cultural and humanitarian forum, which brought together artists, architects, writers, film directors, scientists and members of the public from both countries. President of Germany Roman Herzog was an initiator of the forum. In 2015, a decision was made to change the content format and to switch to a discussion of political and economic issues. Starting from that time, the meetings have been organized twice a year in partnership with the Gorchakov Fund, on a rotating basis in Moscow and Berlin.

At different times, participants of the meetings included Sergey Lavrov, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and others. Events organized as part of the Potsdam Meetings were mentioned during speeches made President of Russia Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Since 2019, the event has been organized under the auspices of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Russia and Germany.

Organizers of the event are the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and the German-Russian Forum headed by former Prime Minister of Federal Land Brandenburg Matthias Platzeck.

Topics of the previous Potsdam Meetings:

  • “The 40th anniversary of Helsinki Accords and Transformation of Europe. Do we need Helsinki-2?” (Moscow, 2015);
  • “Russia and Germany: A foreign policy and economic dialogue” (Berlin, May 2016);
  • “Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok: A single-option way to stability of Europe” (Moscow, November 2016);
  • “Russia and the West: Political and economic ways to exit the crisis” (Berlin, June 2017);
  • “New governments in Germany and Russia: Ways for Mutual Understanding in politics and economy” (Berlin, May 2018);
  • A meeting of Russian and German parliamentarians at the traditional Potsdam Meetings (Moscow, November 2018);
  • “Global risks – Russia, Germany and the European Union in a changed world” (Berlin, May 2019);
  • A meeting of Russian and German parliamentarians at the traditional Potsdam Meetings (Moscow, November 2019);
  • “The pandemic and its consequences for the foreign policy and security” (videoconference, May 2020).