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Published: Saturday May 17, 2014 MYT 3:45:02 AM
Updated: Saturday May 17, 2014 MYT 3:46:15 AM

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

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - 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 destabilising behaviour, 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.

(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal and Jeff Mason; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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