Vice President Biden tells Yanukovich of concern over Ukraine election

WASHINGTON Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:24pm EST

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally in Sterling, Virginia November 5, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally in Sterling, Virginia November 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden voiced concerns about Ukraine's electoral process when speaking with the country's president, Viktor Yanukovich, on Tuesday, the White House said.

Yanukovich, who is facing an impeachment threat after Ukraine's disputed October 28 election, had sent a congratulatory message after Biden and President Barack Obama won re-election last week, according to the White House. Biden then spoke with Yanukovich on Tuesday.

"Noting the strong interest of the United States in enhancing its relationship with Ukraine, the Vice President voiced concerns over Ukraine's recent parliamentary elections," according to the statement summarizing the call. "He also urged Ukraine to live up to its democratic commitments and end selective prosecutions."

On Monday Ukraine's three major opposition parties threatened the president of the former Soviet republic with impeachment.

The European Union has criticized Ukraine's prosecution of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, calling her case an example of selective justice. The EU has also raised concerns about vote counting in the October parliamentary election that reinstated control over parliament for Yanukovich's Party of the Regions.

Yanukovich has shrugged off international criticism of the election, which opposition politicians say involved vote-rigging.

(Reporting By Lisa Lambert; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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