Kyiv: Russians will not be allowed to own land in Ukraine after the market is open

When Ukraine opens the land market, a referendum will be held, and if the sale of agricultural land is opened to foreigners, this will definitely not apply to Russian citizens, Roman Leshchenko, the Ukrainian President’s Commissioner for Land Affairs, told Interfax-Ukraine in an interview.

If one of the founders of a Ukrainian company that is purchasing agricultural land has Russian citizenship, the property will be confiscated by the state through a special mechanism enshrined in the law on the land market.

“The law clearly prescribes, in the transitional provisions, that the matter of allowing foreigners (to purchase agricultural land) will only be through an all-Ukrainian referendum. Until that moment – no foreigners. As a matter of principle, Russians are not being discussed. It’s the aggressor state, under no circumstances will they buy land. If through some kind of mechanism, Russians show up somewhere, we will carry out a special confiscation as income to the state. This sanction norm will be clearly prescribed in the law,” Roman Leshchenko noted.

He said that the law will also stipulate that the founders of companies that have the right to purchase land can only be citizens of Ukraine who do not have double citizenship, who reside in Ukraine and who are the only founders of these legal entities.

“We will have direct corporate relations. That is, not an offshore in Cyprus, then another offshore, and then some person will be the founder. We will do it in such a way that there is a transparent ownership structure of legal entities,” Leshchenko remarked.

On November 13, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada adopted on the first reading bill No. 2178-10 on the turnover of the agricultural land market. 240 MPs voted in favor of it – 227 from the Servant of the People party and 13 independent MPs.

The opening of the land market is planned for October 2020.

The bill makes changes to Article 130 of the Land Code, which has to do with the right to own land designated for agriculture. Ukrainian citizens, Ukrainian legal entities, territorial communities and the state will have this right.

  Russia, Ukraine