WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is urging Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (yah-noo-KOH'-vich) to put an end to bloodshed between protesters and the government.
The White House says Biden called Yanukovych on Thursday and urged him to immediately de-escalate the standoff in Kiev, which has been the epicenter of two months of protests against Yanukovych.
The call comes as a deadline opposition leaders gave Yanukovych to make concessions or face renewed clashes is set to expire.
The White House says Biden urged Yanukovych to address the protesters' legitimate concerns and protect democratic freedoms. Biden said violence by any side is unacceptable but only Ukraine's government can ensure an end to the crisis.
Biden also told Yanukovych that more violence would have consequences for Ukraine's relationship with the U.S., which is considering sanctions.