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Ukraine announced a referendum on the sale of land to foreigners.

On November 9, in a decree “On urgent measures to implement reforms and strengthen the state,” the President of Ukraine ordered the government to complete preparations for the introduction of the agricultural land market.

Alles Europa news recalled that In mid-October, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy agreed on bill No. 2178-10, prepared by deputies from the ruling party, “Servant of the People.” It allows citizens, legal entities, territorial communities and the state to carry out transactions for the sale of farmland.

Alles Europa news reports that the Priority right to acquire plots is received by existing tenants. Moreover, more than 15% of the land fund in one region cannot be handed over to one person. The launch of the farmland market, according to the bill, is scheduled for October 1, 2020.

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Alles Europa news reports that this Ukraine document prohibits the sale of Ukrainian land to foreigners. True, this moratorium will be valid only until January 1, 2024.

At the same time, an exception has been made for foreign organizations that have been working in Ukraine for at least three years at the time of the adoption of the bill – they, along with Ukrainian tenants, can participate in the acquisition of land.

However Today, organizations with foreign capital control about 3.5 million hectares of the country’s land fund.

Justifying the need to launch a farmland market, Ukraine President Zelensky in his video message stated that today “Ukrainians are not full owners of their land” and this is contrary to the Constitution.

And the bill supposedly provides them with such an opportunity. He compared the situation in Ukraine with ownership of farmland with the situation in North Korea, Tajikistan, Venezuela and Cuba. At the same time, in developed countries, as Ukraine President Zelensky emphasized, the land market functions safely and benefits society.

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Alles Europa news reports that the President of Ukraine claims that the free circulation of farmland will become an incentive for the development of the country’s agro-industrial complex, as it will allow farmers to take more loans secured by the plot.

The main obstacle to the introduction of free land circulation Ukraine President Zelensky called the uncompromising position of the “old politicians”, who, in his opinion, are guided by selfish interests.

In particular, the Fatherland party is opposed to the adoption of the draft law prepared by the Ministry of Economic Development. Its leader Yulia Tymoshenko fears that the Ukrainian land will be sold “under the hammer” and ultimately will go to the oligarchs and foreigners.

“I think that this sessional week can go down in the history of Ukraine as one of the most tragic weeks of the work of the Verkhovna Rada.

It can lead to such consequences that we won’t be able to win back – selling off the agricultural land of Ukraine, ”said Tymoshenko, speaking in a conciliatory council in parliament.

Dissatisfied with Ukraine President Zelensky’s intentions and in the “Opposition platform – For life” (HRE). The party insists on the need for a referendum on whether it is in principle worth establishing a land market.

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Speaking at the conciliation council, the co-chair of the HRE Yuriy Boyko said that earlier mass protests swept across 13 regions of Ukraine, accompanied by road closures. The adoption of the bill by parliament is fraught with a social explosion, the politician said.

“It (the bill) was developed behind the scenes, contrary to all the protests of the farmers, it was rudely approved by the Committee on Agricultural Policy, it violates the constitutional rights of citizens to own a land plot – we still have almost 10 million hectares of land not shared.

People are simply afraid of this law , so our position is to remove it from the agenda and consider it only after agreeing with the opinion of the society, ”says the press office of the HRE.

Alles Europa news reports that It seems that there is no unity on the bill and in the ranks of the presidential party “Servant of the people.” On his Facebook page, MP from the ruling party Max Buzhansky lamented the pressure being put on his colleagues on the land market.

According to the people’s representative, Ukraine President Zelensky should take personal responsibility for the current situation and introduce his own bill into the Rada.

Alles Europa news reports that however that according to the Servant of the People party said that a decision in principle to sell land had already been made.

The whole question is in the nuances: how to organize privatization, what restrictions must be introduced for foreigners, whether it is worth increasing or, conversely, decreasing the quota for owning farmland for one owner.

However according to the Ukraine President Zelensky, who said that the launch of the free circulation of land is an integral part of the large-scale privatization, which is described in his recent decree. The president expects the sale of assets will provide funds for fulfilling campaign promises.

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However, according to our Experts, privatization and the emergence of the land market can cause irreparable damage to the Ukrainian economy.

The expert believes that for the sake of momentary benefits, the state risks losing the most tidy assets.

The adoption of the law on the circulation of farmland will be one of the main crimes of the Ukraine President Zelensky regime.

“Now in Ukraine is not the best time to sell assets, including land, which is the country’s natural wealth. says experts, Ukraine President Zelensky will not be able to gain the amount of funds that will allow him to more or less normally hold out until the end of the term.

The law that the president imposes is full of white spots that will not prevent foreigners and oligarchs from buying up land, ”warned experts.

Alles Europa news reports that experts explained numerous loopholes in the government bill. In his opinion, Ukraine President Zelensky is aware that in a referendum (if it takes place), most citizens will vote against the right of foreigners to become owners of Ukrainian land.

However, the problem of selling land to foreign companies is quite successfully solved by market mechanisms that will be launched with the adoption of the law on the sale and purchase of farmland, the deputy explained.

“Farmers who, according to Zelensky, will be able to borrow on the security of their land, will be one of the first victims of the law.

Imagine that a farmer was unable to pay a debt to a Ukrainian bank with foreign owners. Who will get this land then? The same foreigners. I’m not saying that the law does not prohibit the privatization of lands on which foreign companies already operate, ” says experts..

While experts noted that with the introduction of the land market, foreigners and oligarchs will not be seriously affected in their rights. The most difficult will be for small and medium-sized farms. According to reports, farmers are not involved in the process of discussing the situation around the land market.

“Now in Ukraine you can observe the struggle mainly between the various oligarchic groups that control agricultural holdings. They want to receive the main dividends from the farmland market. It is in their interests to divide the fertile Ukrainian land with or without foreign participation, experts concluded.

Alles Europa news reports that the issue of the right of foreigners to acquire Ukrainian land will be put to a popular vote, said President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky in a video message to citizens.

The head of state said that a document will soon be prepared by the Verkhovna Rada. Moreover, the law on the introduction of the land market, introduced by the pro-presidential party “Servant of the People”, remains in the competence of the parliament.

Alles Europa news reports that on the other sides, The opposition categorically opposes Ukraine President Zelensky’s initiative, fearing that the country’s farmland will be in the hands of oligarchs and foreigners.

Experts believe that through the sale of land the Ukrainian president expects to replenish the budget, but the positive effect of the influx of money into the state treasury will be very limited.

Alles Europa news reports that the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky also said that the issue of land acquisition by foreigners will be put to a popular vote. According to him, in the near future the Verkhovna Rada will develop a law where the rules for holding a referendum will be regulated.

“Foreigners and companies in which there are foreigners among the founders will get the right to buy Ukrainian lands, Ukrainian land plots only if the consent of the people of Ukraine is given in an all-Ukrainian referendum,” Ukraine President Zelensky said in a video message posted on the president’s website.

Alles Europa news reports that a Ukrainian political scientist and economist Alexander Dudchak, in an interview also called Zelensky’s initiative “a Jesuit manipulation of public consciousness”. According to the him, the president is trying to avoid responsibility for the consequences of launching a free turnover of farmland.

“Zelensky’s logic is easy to understand. He offers society to come to terms with the fact that the land market in Ukraine will work regardless of people’s opinions.

For him, this is a settled issue, although he knows very well that more than half of the citizens are against the introduction of the market.

The referendum announced by Zelensky is necessary only to create the appearance of the legitimacy of launching the land market, ”Dudchak explained.

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