KIEV, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko dissolved parliament on Monday and called for early elections on Oct. 26, as tensions were still running high in eastern Ukraine amid fighting between government forces and rebels.
"We must begin purification from the highest legislative body. The current composition of Parliament (the Verkhovna Rada) has been the mainstay of (former president Viktor) Yanukovych for the one and half years," the presidential press service quoted him as saying.
Many lawmakers were "direct sponsors and accomplices or at least sympathizers" of separatists, and they were to blame for the "dictatorial laws" that killed pro-European activists during the protests last year, he said.
Noting that the 2012 election was neither fair nor democratic, Poroshenko said "corruption, unemployment and poverty cause no less damage than 'Grad' (rocket system) or 'Buk' (anti-aircraft system)."
The society has changed so fast that members of parliament should reflect the historical development, he added.
Poroshenko said successful parliamentary reformation was "interrelated processes" with the recent military gain of government forces in southeastern Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.
"Thus, early parliamentary elections are part of my peace plan, " he said.
The lawmakers will assume their responsibility until the new parliament is elected, he said. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who assumed the current post in February after the ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovych, will remain in a caretaker role until his successor is installed.
Military clashes between governmental troops and pro-independence militia have killed more than 2,000 people in southeastern Ukraine since March, with hundreds of thousands of others displaced.
The continued violence in Ukraine has made Tuesday's meeting between Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin ever more attention-getting. Many hoped it could facilitate a political settlement to the ongoing crisis.
On Tuesday, the presidents of the Customs Union member states, namely Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, as well as Ukraine and representatives from the European Union (EU) will gather in Minsk to discuss settlement of the Ukrainian crisis and the thorny relations of Kiev authorities with the Moscow-led economic entity.
Both Moscow and Kiev have expressed their willingness to find a peaceful solution to the conflicts before the meeting, but blamed the other side for the raging of war.
"We are ready for any format, anything to start the movement from the military confrontation to civil dialogue, to the national unity formation that was mentioned in the Feb. 21 agreement," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday
"We have recognized Poroshenko as president and expect him to use the presidential mandate to stop the war and not to incite further conflict," he added.
On Friday, Poroshenko said Kiev would also be pushing for a political dialogue during the meeting to end the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
He predicted that the intensity of the dialogue would be "very high."