WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has told Ukraine's new prime minister that the U.S. welcomes the formation of the country's new government.

The White House says Biden called Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Thursday.

It's an important signal of U.S. recognition for Yatsenyuk as the country's de facto leader.

Biden told Yatsenyuk the U.S. will give full support as Ukraine seeks to restore order in the wake of a major political crisis.

The White House has said by fleeing the capital, President Viktor Yanukovych abdicated power, but Yanukovych in a statement Thursday still claimed authority. Biden had spoken to him regularly during the crisis.

Yatsenyuk was overwhelmingly approved by Parliament on Thursday. He's widely viewed as a technocratic reformer and has said Ukraine's future lies with the European Union.