Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Who Owns Ukraine's Farmland?

 As mentioned yesterday, that was the simple question yours truly asked before stumbling into the rabbit hole of "Why Was The American Government Training Neo-Nazis In Ukraine?".

The reason for the original query was the mandate from the IMF that in return for one of the tranches of  multi-billion dollar loans related to the whole PrivatBank theft, money laundering, Maidan, Victoria Nuland web of lies and corruption that Ukraine allow foreigners to buy farmland.

Some really good farmland, by all accounts.

Farmlandgrab keeps track of this stuff all over the world and a couple of their posts give a quick overview of what's what.

Here is one part of the puzzle, not the stuff that attracts the foreign money:

April 29, 2020

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a bill into law to amend certain legislative acts of Ukraine on the conditions of circulation of farmland No. 552-IX, which was approved by the Verkhovna Rada on March 31, 2020.

"This is a historic moment for all Ukrainians and for me personally," the presidential press service quoted the president as saying on April 28. "Ukraine has been waiting for this law since independence. It was a difficult struggle. But we knew we were doing it for Ukrainians."

The document provides for the formation of a legislative framework for the introduction of market circulation of agricultural land. The law will enable the realization of citizens' constitutional rights to dispose of their property freely and create transparent conditions for the acquisition of agricultural land by Ukrainian citizens.

The law provides for gradual land reform: from July 1, 2021, only individual citizens of Ukraine will be able to buy up to 100 hectare of agricultural land. During the second stage, which starts on January 1, 2024, the limit will grow to 10,000 ha, and legal entities will also be able to buy farmland.

Arable land shall not be sold to foreigners, legal entities with foreign shareholders and legal entities whose beneficiaries cannot be identified or whose beneficiaries are registered in offshore zones, as well as to persons under special economic and other sanctions. 
Here is more, linked the prior week:

...Rules for foreign purchasers of agricultural land plots
Ukraine will hold a referendum that will decide whether foreign entities will be allowed to acquire agricultural land plots.
Foreign entities are and will be prohibited from buying agricultural land plots in a 50-km zone from the border of Ukraine regardless of the referendum results....


On April 1, 2020 Farmlandgrab had a quick overview of the state of play from the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS among the cognoscenti):

A law to privatise farmland, ultimately for the benefit of global finance and agribusiness, was pushed through Parliament under pressure from the IMF in the context of the coronavirus crisis.

So, getting closer to an answer, more to come.