Ban for sale of farm lands to foreigners is logic step – expert

Establishment of restrictions for foreigners to purchase farm lands in Ukraine is an absolutely logic step of our legislator.
Main legal adviser of the USAID Project Agroinvest Pavlo Kulinich expressed this opinion, commenting on the draft law “On Agricultural Land Turnover” in the context of the future associated membership in the EU, the Ukrainian Education Center told Ukrinform about this.

“In my opinion, such a legislative situation should continue until the income level of agricultural producers, citizens of Ukraine, on average will be comparable to the income level in the European Union countries. Only then we could open the doors for foreign citizens and this will not hamper our national interests,” the expert believes.

At the same time, he reminded that currently European experience proves that similar restrictions are of a temporary character. Thus, access of foreigners to land ownership, in particular, to ownership of farmlands are solved within different political-legal frameworks in the countries of Southern, Eastern and Central Europe and in Ukraine. “The first are members of the European Union. We are going to become the EU associated member. However, I should note, that a general rule of free movement of ownership, capitals, goods and labor force operates in the European countries. This means, that in every country, which is a member of the European Union, citizens of other countries have a right to purchase a land plot,” the lawyer states.

According to his explanation, only on the transfer of Central European and Eastern European countries from the status of non-members of the European Union to the EU members, such restrictions are introduced for the sale farmlands to foreigners-members of the European Union countries. “For instance, in Poland and some other countries, this transfer period has already completed, but a permit for the purchase of farmlands is given only to citizens of the EU member countries. Other citizens, say for instance, citizens of China or Ukraine, may not receive such a right and this will be lawful,” Kulinich noted.

He stressed that those countries protect their own, European farmer. “Ukraine also should protect agricultural producers, but with taking into consideration of the financial-economic status of our country. And it consists in the fact that the average level of incomes from agricultural business and citizens is considerably lower against the average level of incomes from the agrarian business in the European Union countries, and much lower against incomes of their citizens. Therefore, imposing of restrictions for the purchase of farmlands in Ukraine is an absolutely logic step of our legislator. And this tradition continues in the draft law “On Agricultural Land Turnover.”

Ukrinform

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