Obama, Hollande talk by phone on Ukraine, stress sanctions threat

President Barack Obama flanked by Abdullahi Mohamed, left, and Meredith Upchurch speaks to reporters at a restaurant in Washington, Friday, May 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama spoke with French President Francois Hollande about the situation in Ukraine on Friday and the two agreed Russia faces "significant" further costs if it continues provocative and destabilizing behavior, the White House said.

"President Obama praised the Ukrainian government's efforts to unify the country by holding free and fair presidential elections on May 25 that will lead to an inclusive constitutional reform process," the White House said.

The leaders discussed the situation in Nigeria, where rebel group Boko Haram abducted 276 schoolgirls.





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