Ukrainian President Poroshenko is due to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a summit in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Tuesday's talks come hours after the Ukrainian leader dissolved parliament and announced snap election for 26 October.
The meeting also comes amid rising tensions between the two countries over the fact that Russian aid convoy of nearly 200 trucks entered the Ukrainian border last Friday without Kiev's permission and Moscow has announced its intention to send another convoy to the East of Ukraine where the rebels are fast losing their stronghold in the hands of the government forces.
Ukraine on Monday also said that its troops had captured 10 Russian servicemen in eastern Ukraine. The Russian government also announced its plans to send a second aid convoy to Ukraine even as the controversy surrounding the first batch of trucks entering the Ukrainian border has intensified tensions between the two countries.
Hours before the meeting was announced, President Poroshenko went on national TV to announce the snap elections. Arguing that many current MPs were supporters of ousted President Victor Yanukovych, he added that majority of Ukrainian citizens wanted a new parliament.
Poroshenko had warned of the move last week, telling a news agency that a decision "will be made when there is a constitutional basis for it and that moment, as everyone knows, is on Independence Day (Aug. 24)," The Wire reported.
Meanwhile, all eyes will now be on the Minsk meeting, which will also be attended by senior officials from the European Union, which along with the United States, has imposed tough sanctions on Russia for its alleged support for the separatists, the BBC noted.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – who announced on Monday his plan to send the second batch of aid convoy across the border – said that the West must avoid putting the entire onus on Moscow for a peaceful resolution.
"I hope every much our Western colleagues...won't just come with expectations we will somehow magically solve things for them. That will not work," he said in a news conference ahead of the talks on Tuesday.