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You're reading: US calls on Ukraine to repeal new anti-democratic laws, considers possible sanctions

The U.S. National Security Council (NSC) is deeply concerned by the violence taking place on the streets of Kyiv on Sunday and urges all sides to immediately de-escalate the situation.

“We are deeply concerned by the violence taking place today on the
streets of Kyiv and urge all sides to immediately de-escalate the
situation,” a statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden issued on
January 19 reads.

“The increasing tension in Ukraine is a direct consequence of the
government failing to acknowledge the legitimate grievances of its
people. Instead, it has moved to weaken the foundations of Ukraine’s
democracy by criminalizing peaceful protest and stripping civil society
and political opponents of key democratic protections under the law,”
the statement reads.

The NSC urges the government of Ukraine to take steps that represent a
better way forward for Ukraine, including repeal of the anti-democratic
legislation signed into law in recent days, withdrawing the riot police
from downtown Kyiv, and beginning a dialogue with the political
opposition.

“From its first days, the Maidan movement has been defined by a
spirit of non-violence and we support today’s call by opposition
political leaders to reestablish that principle,” the statement reads.

“The U.S. will continue to consider additional steps – including sanctions – in response to the use of violence,” Hayden said.

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