During the summit of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on October 10, 1997, leaders of Russia, France and Germany Boris Yeltsin, Jacques Chirac and Helmut Kohl agreed to hold annual meetings of the "Big European Troika" at the top level.
On March 26, 1998, the Bor holiday hotel in the Moscow region hosted their first unofficial meeting. The leaders of the three countries defined their "common vision" of Europe's future. At the meeting they discussed topical international problems, such as the crisis around Iraq, the situation in Kosovo, development of cooperation between Russia and the European Union, Russia and NATO, as well as specific programs of trilateral cooperation in the economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres. They also touched upon the program of creating a European military transport airplane on the basis of the Russian-Ukrainian An-70.
The leaders of Russia, France and Germany announced the setting up of "a special union of the three countries' rescuers" to fight against natural and technological catastrophes (the initiative was promoted by Russia).
On November 18, 1999, a short meeting of the Big European Troika was held at the Ciragan Palace, Istanbul, within the framework of the OSCE summit. The Russian party was also represented by Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and then Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev.
The next trilateral meeting of Presidents of Russia and France Vladimir Putin and Jacques Chirac and Federal Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schroeder took place on April 11-12, 2003 in St.Petersburg.
The focus of the summit was settlement of the postwar situation in and restoration of Iraq. It was devoted to the following issues: strengthening of the anti-war stands of Russia, France, and Germany, the UN key role, multipolar administering throughout the transitional period in Iraq, problems of the country's disarmament.
On April 12, 2003, within the framework of the summit the heads of state attended the international conference "Peace, Security and International Law: The Outlook into the Future."