France’s Macron Doesn’t Back Biden’s ‘Genocide’ Claim Against Russia

On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron wouldn’t back President Biden’s claim that Russia is committing “genocide” in Ukraine. The French leader instead warned that an escalation of rhetoric wouldn’t bring peace.

Macron accused Russia of “war crimes” in Ukraine but favors diplomacy as the best way to end the fighting. “I want to try as much as possible to continue to be able to stop this war and to rebuild peace. I’m not sure that verbal escalations serve this cause,” he said.

Macron is one of the few Western leaders who has maintained contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin since Russia invaded on February 24. Biden hasn’t spoken with Putin, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken hasn’t spoken with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, since February 15.