Poroshenko: Ukraine is a new, changing country

Poroshenko: Ukraine is a new, changing country

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Ukraine's president on Wednesday urged Poland's politicians and business people to intensify ties with his country as it conducts reforms to follow European standards.

At the start of a two-day visit to Poland, President Petro Poroshenko held talks with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz.

Kopacz told Poroshenko that she will speak for neighboring Ukraine during this week's European Union summit that will discuss ways of solving the conflict in the country and of aiding its political and economic reforms.

Addressing Poland's lawmakers and senators, Poroshenko said that Russia's takeover of Crimea and the support that Moscow gives to Ukraine's separatists have fortified his pro-Western course, and asked for continued support on that track.

Poroshenko said he will ask Ukraine's lawmakers to end its status as a non-aligned nation and to pave way for strengthening ties with NATO security structures. He said the aim of Ukraine's reform plan is to be ready to seek EU membership in 2020. Poroshenko said Crimea is an "open wound" but he believes the "Ukrainian flag will fly over it again."

He later spoke to a forum of Polish and Ukrainian business people.

He said Poles must have had bad experiences from dealing with the centralized, corruption-ridden country.

"I have good news for you: that country is no more," Poroshenko said because reforms to fight corruption and oversee the decentralization of the administration are underway.

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