French President Emmanuel Macron seemed to warn against labeling Putin on Sunday.
"I wouldn't use terms like that because I'm still in talks with President Putin,” Macron said during an interview on French Channel France 3.
This comes comes after US President Joe Biden issued intense criticism against the Russian leader during a meeting with Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw, Poland on Saturday.
After initially looking to downplay a personal rivalry between himself and Putin, Biden has ramped up his rhetoric against Putin over the last 10 days. Last week, Biden for the first time called Putin a "war criminal" and then later referred to him as a "murderous dictator, a pure thug who is waging an immoral war against the people of Ukraine." He's also called the Russian invasion of Ukraine "inhumane."
Macron added: "Our goal is to stop the war Russia launched in Ukraine, while avoiding a war and escalation."
Before the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Macron emerged as a central figure in Europe's diplomatic efforts to diffuse the situation between Moscow and the West. The French leader repeatedly engaged with Putin to try and avert the war.
This post has been updated.