WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is criticizing pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine for threatening to take more territory and hold their own elections.
Biden spoke to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (por-oh-SHEHN'-koh) by phone Friday. The White House says Biden offered U.S. support for steps Poroshenklo is taking to decentralize power and fulfill Ukraine's obligations under a peace plan.
Biden is also praising Poroshenko for reaching a deal with Ukraine's creditors to restructure its debt. The deal with international bondholders will lighten Ukraine's public debt burden in a move aimed at helping the country avoid default.
The White House says Biden and Poroshenko also discussed Ukraine's upcoming local elections and says they condemned recent attacks by pro-Russian forces, including attacks on international monitors.