Opening the land market is a threat to national security

12:06 24.09.2019

Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko has cautioned that the bill prepared by the current government on the agricultural land market poses a number of risks for both Ukrainian farmers and the country’s national security as a whole. Therefore, the President should declare a national referendum on the relevant issue.

“As Volodymyr Zelensky promised, all important issues for the country should begin with a referendum. We should ask Ukrainians whether or not to sell land. But first there should be open public discussions, invite agrarians, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, foreign agrarian ministers,” Yulia Tymoshenko said on the program “Freedom of Speech” on channel ICTV.

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The politician stressed that Batkivshchyna has analyzed the draft law on agricultural land sale released by the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine, and found a number of dangers in the documents. For example, there is an insufficient level of restriction on the total area of ​​agricultural land that can be owned by a citizen and a legal entity (no more than 15% of agricultural land in an oblast and 0.5% of agricultural land in Ukraine).

“In most countries around the world, there is a strict limit on how much land can be given to one entity. In Poland it’s 500 hectares, in Germany 450 hectares, Hungary 300 hectares, Spain 250 hectares. The bill being submitted in parliament gives 0.5% of all agricultural lands in Ukraine to one entity. This is a huge scam,” she said indignantly.

The politician also raised concerns that given the issuance of passports of other countries to Ukrainians, there is a risk of losing part of Ukraine’s territories.

“Ukraine is in a state of weakness, confusion and degradation, and making land a commodity means leaving the people without land and endangering the border territories by holding the same kind of referendums as they did in Crimea,” she warned.

Yulia Tymoshenko also drew special attention to the possibility of legal entities acquiring land, as well as the fact that the bill allows land to be bought in installments up to 5 years, but Ukrainian farmers will not be able to do this or to buy land at auctions due to the lack of funds.

Yulia Tymoshenko said that the only solution is for Ukraine to develop the country’s agricultural complex.

“The world has chosen the only strategy that is correct – family farming, small and medium-sized agricultural production. No smart country is going the the way of selling its land,” she said.