Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he believes the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in the east is on the wane and that peace efforts will work.

In a news conference Thursday outlining his plans for Ukraine over the next half-decade, Poroshenko said: "I have no doubt whatsoever that my peace plan will work and that the main and most dangerous part of the war is behind."

Poroshenko's proposals were a foundation for agreements this month aimed at ending the conflict that has killed at least 3,500 people since mid-April. The first step was a cease-fire called three weeks ago that in the beginning was repeatedly violated. But in recent days, reports of violations have decreased notably.