WASHINGTON—Vice President Joe Biden is welcoming progress toward diffusing the political crisis in Ukraine.

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych (yah-noo-KOH'-vich) called Biden to offer an update on Tuesday. That's when Ukraine's prime minister resigned and parliament repealed anti-protest laws that had sparked violent clashes with protesters.

It's the third time Biden and Yanukovych have spoken in less than a week.

The White House says Biden urged Yanukovych to sign the repeal of the anti-protest laws without delay. Biden encouraged the Ukrainian president to keep working with the opposition. He's calling for an amnesty law and a new government that will move Ukraine in Europe's direction.

The protests erupted after Yanukovych turned toward Russia for a bailout loan instead of a deal with the European Union, but have since expanded in scope.