On the eve of his 49th birthday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko laid out plans for social and economic reforms over the next six years. It is hoped they will allow the country to apply for EU membership in 2020.
We took to the streets of the capital Kyiv to gauge the public’s reaction to the proposals.
“I don’t think applying to the EU is achievable in a short period of time,” said one woman. “We’ll need to change our way of thinking. But if it’s what we all want it can become a reality.”
Another added: “Russia will obstruct, but we have a chance. All we need is to stop war, live in peace and boost the economy.”
Poroshenko said the 60 reform packages – to fight corruption and poverty – were vital for the survival of the country. “The alternative”, he said, “is to stand alone with Russia.”
Our correspondent, Maria Korenyuk, reported from Kyiv:
“According to Poroshenko, in order to resolve the problem of Donbass, Ukraine will continue the negotiation process with Russia. The next meeting between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to be held in three weeks’ time, in one of the EU countries.”
President Poroshenko is aiming to have the draft laws prepared in time for the election of the new parliament at the end of October.