French President Emmanuel Macron abstained from describing Russian actions in Ukraine as “genocide” in a television interview with public broadcaster France 2.
Macron, when asked whether he, like US President Joe Biden, would use the word “genocide” for the killing of Ukrainians by the Russian military, he said: “I would be careful with such terms today because these two peoples [Russians and Ukrainians] are brothers.”
“I want to continue to try, as much as I can, to stop this war and rebuild peace. I am not sure that an escalation of rhetoric serves that cause,” he added.
“What we can say for sure is that the situation is unacceptable and that these are war crimes. We are living through war crimes that are unprecedented on our soil — our European soil.”
The French President, who is presently moving for re-election, further noted France’s alliance with Ukraine to investigate the alleged war crimes.
“Russia has unilaterally started an extremely brutal war, it has now been established that the Russian army has committed war crimes and we must now find those who are responsible,” Macron stated.
President Biden said Tuesday the atrocities being revealed in Ukraine qualify as genocide, saying “it’s become clearer and clearer that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is just trying to wipe out even the idea of being Ukrainian.”