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Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the State Council devoted to the transfer of farmland

April 22, 2002, The Kremlin, Moscow

The land issue has always been a key one in Russia, said Vladimir Putin when opening the meeting. He said that the law on transfer of farmlands turnover must protect the farmers’ rights to dispose of their land.

Investment in land is always long-term in character, and a stable status of a farmer’s property is extremely important for him, Vladimir Putin said. The president thinks that it is only fair to have all possible forms of land ownership – on the leasehold, property and inheritance terms – properly legalised.

The President said that over the past ten years about 18 million hectares of land (nearly as much as the total area of French farmland) had been withdrawn from crop rotation. He stressed that instead of civilised land regulation, the illicit market, speculation and corruption were developing in Russia.

Land legislation should close loopholes for market monopolisation, unfair competition, illicit transfer and abuse of office by government officials, Vladimir Putin said. It was also necessary to provide for mechanisms protecting Russia’s national interests, he stressed.

As regards foreigners’ rights to privately own land, there was no need to step up this issue until a national consensus was achieved, the President said. He also spoke for the need to compile a land register as soon as possible.

The President said that after a ten-year decline, the agrarian sector was picking up steam. So it is necessary to give reliable support and competent and balanced land legislation to agricultural producers, he stressed.

April 22, 2002, The Kremlin, Moscow