WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden has told Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (ahr-SEHN'-ee yaht-sehn-YOOK') that the U.S. stands firmly behind Ukraine and its territorial sovereignty.
Biden met with Yatsenyuk at the White House on Thursday, a day after the Ukrainian leader met with President Barack Obama. The meeting is another signal that the U.S. considers Yatsenyuk to be Ukraine's leader.
The White House says Biden praised Yatsenyuk for his new government's commitment to stabilizing Ukraine. Biden said the U.S. supports Ukrainians as they work toward a democratic future.
The meeting comes as Western nations are mounting a last-minute bid to head off a confrontation over the Ukrainian region of Crimea. The U.S. has rejected a planned vote on Sunday over whether Crimea should break off from Ukraine and perhaps join Russia.