Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday said that Russians and Ukrainians were "fraternal peoples" and refused to call Russia's actions in Ukraine "genocide," stressing the need to be "discreet with terms."

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden had called Russia's actions in Ukraine "genocide" for the first time.

"I would be discreet with terms today... Russians and Ukrainians are fraternal peoples. What is happening is madness, this is a return to war in Europe; but, at the same time, I am looking at the facts, I want to try as much as possible to stop this war and restore peace," Macron told the France 2 broadcaster when asked whether he would regard the events in Ukraine and, in particular, in Mariupol as "genocide."

The French leader also announced plans to hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and, possibly, with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the coming days.

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after recognizing the Ukrainian breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent republics. Russia maintains that the aim of its invasion is "demilitarization" and "denazification" of Ukraine.