Reuters International

Self propelled howitzers drive during a rehearsal for the Independence Day military parade in the centre of Kiev, Ukraine, August 19, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

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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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