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The Yabloko faction: anti-constitutional ban on transactions with agricultural land in Russia should be abolished

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During the voting in the State Duma of the Russian Federation (on May 16, 2002) the Yabloko faction will support two out of seven draft laws "On Transactions with Agricultural Land" prepared by the Government of the Russian Federation and deputies of the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS) faction.

Yabloko considers protection of citizens’s title to their plots of land and land shares and freeing it from bureaucratic dictatorship to be a top priority. The faction will support the two aforementioned draft laws as they declare abolition of an anti-constitutional ban on transactions with agricultural land.

Supporting in the first reading the draft laws proposed by the Government of the RF and the SPS faction, Yabloko deputies note, however, that neither of the draft laws can lead to a qualitative change of the situation regarding transactions with agricultural land. “The government draft virtually simply legalizes the present situation in this area, stated First Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction Sergei Ivanenko in an interview with journalists.

He added: “The Yabloko faction sees many drawbacks in this draft law and will try to ensure their elimination during the three readings of the draft law by the State Duma. We are already preparing amendments for the second reading."

Ivanenko stressed: “The crux of the amendments is as follows: we should see greater liberalization. However, the government draft sets many administrative and bureaucratic barriers which impede free use of land by citizens. Consequently:

  1. The Yabloko faction insists on the introduction of uniform rules for sale of agricultural lands on the territory of the Russian Federation, as differentiation contradicts the provisions of the RF Constitution for the protection of citizens' rights, the single market, competition and free economic activities.
  2. Yabloko objects to the provision of pre-emptive purchase rights to plots of land to the subjects of the Russian Federation. In fact, this would give administrative bodies the right to be co-owners of all private agricultural property. Such a scheme is bound to promote corruption and infringe upon the rights of land owners, increase transaction costs and diminish the security of rights for prospective purchasers.
  3. Yabloko insists on establishing civilized standards for the conversion of land shares into plots of land. This procedure must be specified by the law and ensure protection of citizens from wanton decisions of local authorities and management of agricultural operators.
  4. Yabloko has consistently advocated the distribution of state and municipal lands on a competitiive basis.

Yabloko will support the draft law in the second reading if the State Duma adopts the amendments.

See also:

Land Reform

Yabloko faction advocates abolition of ban on sale of agricultural lands in Russia RIA OREANDA. May 16, 2002.

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