Biden, Ukraine's Poroshenko discuss surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine: White House

August 19, 2016 8:22 PM EDT

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addresses servicemen of the 16th separate army aviation brigade and relatilves of pilots, who were killed in the fighting in eastern Ukraine, in the city of Brody, Ukraine, August 18, 2016. Mykhailo Markiv/Ukrainian Pr

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke by phone on Friday with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and both leaders expressed concern over a recent surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev is fighting pro-Russian separatists, the White House said.

"The Vice President relayed that the United States had sent a message to Russia that the world is watching and underscored the need to de-escalate the situation. He also urged Ukraine to show restraint," the White House statement said.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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