MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) -Ukraine is to hold early parliamentary elections on October 26, the country’s president, Petro Poroshenko, announced after dissolving the parliament.
The dissolution was in line with “the expectations of the vast majority of the citizens of Ukraine,” Poroshenko said in a Monday statement.
Ukraine’s president had repeatedly stressed the necessity of forming a new parliament in the country, noting that the current composition of the Verkhovna Rada, the official name for Ukraine’s parliament, did not represent the interests of Ukrainian society.
Ukraine held its last parliamentary elections in the fall of 2012. The next parliamentary elections in the country were previously scheduled for 2017. On Sunday the 30-day deadline for the Verkhovna Rada to form a new coalition expired, making it possible for Poroshenko to dissolve the parliament.
On Monday, Poroshenko held a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussing the decision.
“The sides have discussed the decision of the [Ukrainian] president to dismiss the Verkhovna Rada. The sides agreed that this move was a step toward meeting the expectations of Ukrainian society and reinforcing Ukraine’s democratic institutions,” a statement released on the Ukrainian president’s website on Tuesday said.
Poroshenko and Merkel also exchanged views on the upcoming meeting in Minsk between officials from Russia, Ukraine, the European Union, and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The participants are expected to address a number of political and economic issues, including Ukraine’s integration into the European Union and the stabilization of the situation in eastern Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Poroshenko are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Minsk summit on Tuesday afternoon.
Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said the meeting between the Russian president and Poroshenko would probably touch on "the internal Ukrainian crisis," as well as issues of Russian humanitarian aid "to avoid unnecessary delays" in its delivery.