Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on Monday to dissolve parliament and called for fresh elections to be held in October, as the country continues to battle separatist rebels in the east of the country.
"I have decided to prematurely end the authority of parliament," wrote Poroshenko in a statement on the government website, as he called for fresh elections to be held October 26.
Poroshenko said that many members of parliament “are allies of the militant-separatists,” referring to the rebels in the east of the country who are fighting for greater autonomy from the right-wing central government.
He also said that most of the deputies in the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, are allies of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and are “direct sponsors and accomplices or supporters of rebels and terrorists.”
The dissolution, says Poroshenko, is a move toward “cleansing” the Ukrainian parliament.
"I see victory in Donbass and victory of reformist democratic forces in the Verkhovna Rada as tightly interconnected processes. Snap elections are part of my peace plan. It's key point is political dialogue with Donbass. Sorry, but who shall we talk to? We can talk to illegal armed groups in the language of force only until they lay down weapons," he said in a press conference.