French President Macron told Russia's Putin paying gas bills in roubles not possible - Elysee official

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French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, France, May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool/File Photo

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PARIS, March 29 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that it was not possible for Western gas clients to pay their bills in roubles, a French presidential official told journalists on Tuesday.

"France is against paying in roubles," the official said.

In his phone call with Putin, Macron also reiterated his preparedness to carry out a humanitarian rescue mission in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the official said, but added that the conditions for such a step were not yet in place.

Russia promised on Tuesday to scale down military operations around Kyiv and northern Ukraine as a confidence-building step, in the most tangible sign yet of progress towards negotiating an end to the war. read more

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Reporting by John Irish, writing by Tassilo Hummel, editing by Domonique Vidalon

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