Together we will defend land from misappropriation

03:48 08.12.2017

Batkivshchyna leader Yulia Tymoshenko says that together with Ukrainian society the Batkivshchyna faction succeeded in forcing the Verkhovna Rada to prolong the ban on the sale of farmland for another year.

“Today, representatives of the Association of Farmers and Private Landowners of Ukraine, agrarian trade union, organizations representing farmers and the agrarian complex came to the Verkhovna Rada. I want to thank these people for their support of the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land,” Yulia Tymoshenko said on channel NewsOne.

She also said that hundreds of people came out locally to “force the Verkhovna Rada in the last days before the new year to prolong the ban on the sale of agricultural land.”

The Batkivshchyna faction leader said the initiative was backed in parliament by “236 deputies that prevented a national tragedy” despite pro-government deputies insisting that the moratorium be canceled.

“Today those against the moratorium were not ashamed to fight for its cancellation, they ran around the session hall, attacked the tribune and tried to convince the hall that starting on January 1, 2018 Ukrainian land should not belong to the Ukrainian people,” she said, adding that the Petro Poroshenko Bloc and other factions in the majority voted against extending the moratorium, thereby acting against the national interest.

Yulia Tymoshenko noted that today world prices for land are quite high, while Ukrainians oligarchs are trying to buy it for nothing.

“Land in Austria costs $42,000 per hectare, in Germany it’s $70,000 per hectare, while in Ukraine they want to buy it for $700,” the politician said.

She also noted that 91% of land in Canada is state-owned, 50% in the U.S., 91% in Israel, 60% in France, while in Ukraine only 35% of land is owned by the state.

“We have already crossed the boundary of stability of Ukraine’s national security in terms of food production on state land,” the parliamentarian warned.

Yulia Tymoshenko also explained that passage of this law is a positive step, but that Batkivshchyna had introduced a most systematic bill that would have extended the moratorium for 5 years and given the state the right to purchase land from people at market value.

The parliamentarian stressed the importance of supporting small farms and putting the agrarian sector back on its feet.

“There should be at lest 2.6 million farms. As soon as this government is removed in a constitutional way we will need to adopt a strategically strong program to support Ukrainian farming,” she said.

According to the politician, farmers needs access to affordable loans, state support, subsidies, and reimbursements, the excessive tax system must be removed and a fixed tax on land introduced.