POLITICS

White House Threatens Ukraine Sanctions If Violence Continues

US President Barack Obama speaks about the National Security Agency (NSA) and intelligence agencies surveillance techniques a
US President Barack Obama speaks about the National Security Agency (NSA) and intelligence agencies surveillance techniques at the US Department of Justice in Washington, DC, January 17, 2014. Obama trimmed the powers of the secretive US eavesdropping agency Friday by calling for new privacy safeguards, but allowed bulk phone data sweeps to continue as an anti-terror tool. In a long-awaited speech outlining changes to programs exposed by Edward Snowden, Obama also said he had halted National Security Agency (NSA) spy taps targeting friendly world leaders. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - The White House on Thursday condemned the violence taking place in Kiev, urged all sides to de-escalate, and threatened sanctions against Ukraine if the situation there did not improve.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told a briefing that the tensions in the country were a direct result of the government failing to acknowledge the "legitimate" grievances of its people.

The United States urged the Ukraine government to repeal anti-democratic legislation that was recently signed into law, Carney said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Chris Reese)

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