Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko sees his country applying for EU membership in six years time, and says the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine ''has finally begun working.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said he would present a broad plan of social and economic reforms on Thursday (September 25), which would allow the former Soviet republic to apply for membership of the European Union in six years. Ukraine's parliament ratified a landmark agreement on closer ties with the EU on September 16, though implementation of the trade part of the accord has been delayed until January 2016 to appease Russia, which says the pact will hurt its markets. Poroshenko, speaking to Ukrainian judges, said he would present his 'vision' of Ukraine's development and strategy up to 2020 at a news conference set for later on Thursday. "The strategy provides for 60 separate reforms and special programs, which will prepare Ukraine for applying for European Union membership in six years," said Poroshenko. He also added that for the first time in many months no deaths or wounded had been reported in the past 24 hours in a conflict with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, indicating that a ceasefire struck on Sept. 5 "has finally begun working". Poroshenko is trying to keep his strife-torn country on a course of European integration despite fierce opposition from Russia, which Kiev and its Western backers say has armed and backed the separatists in mainly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has killed more than 3,000 people.