The Russian authorities have banned foreign nationals from owning land in most of Crimea and Sevastopol, repots Kommersant.
In 2011, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a list of the country's border territories where foreign nationals are prohibited from owning land. On March 20, 2020, Putin signed a decree to amend it, and to list most of the territories of Crimea and Sevastopol.
From now on, foreigners are forbidden to own land in Yalta, Saki, Sudak, Alushta, Dzhankoi, Armiansk, Feodosia and Yevpatoriya, that is, in all areas of Crimea that border Ukraine or have access to the Black Sea. Also, foreigners are now forbidden to own land in eight of the 10 municipalities of Sevastopol.
"Foreign nationals have a year to sell their land. Otherwise, the land will be nationalized," Kommersant reports.
By the same decree, Putin added to the list of territories, where foreign citizens are forbidden to own land, Kaliningrad, 17 municipalities of Kaliningrad region and 23 municipalities of Astrakhan region.
In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.
On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.