Travel and leisure stocks led the gains, up more than 0.6 percent after shares of Britain's biggest hotel and coffee shop operator surged to the top of the European benchmark. A unit of U.S. activist hedge fund Elliott Management said it now held the largest stake, Reuters reported. The news prompted its shares to rise almost 7 percent.

Meanwhile, Europe's food and beverages stocks were the worst performers, down 0.8 percent amid earnings news. This news followed weaker-than-expected earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) during the first three months of the year. Shares of Marine Harvest slipped over 1 percent.

Putin's comments followed reports that Washington is poised to increase pressure on Moscow with fresh economic sanctions on Monday. The U.S. administration is expected to try and punish Russia for propping up the regime of Syrian President.

In commodity markets, oil prices dipped amid ongoing tensions in the Middle East. Brent crude futures were off by more than 1.5 percent at $71.43 on Monday morning, while WTI was down 1.4 percent at $66.41.