Macron's call to Putin was justified given nuclear risks for Europe, Elysee says

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PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron's phone call to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin was justified in view of the serious safety risk affecting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine which is subject to combat activity, an official at the French presidency told journalists in a briefing.

Macron, who last called Putin in May, had been criticised in the past for keeping up diplomatic talks with Putin despite his decision to invade Ukraine and actions by the Russian army that international observers qualified as war crimes.

The Elysee official added that during the call, in which the two leaders agreed on the need to send a mission by the International Atomic Energy Agency to the plant, Putin expressed his readiness to re-consider a previous demand by which the mission should travel to the site via Russian soil.

Ukraine and its western partners want the mission to reach the site from Ukraine.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by GV De Clercq)