Russian governors express opinions about farmland sale

The head of the Altai republic (southern Russia), Mikhail Lapshin, suggests the notion of "the minimum level of land concentration with one owner and in one region" be "completely removed" from the draft bill on farmland sales. He believes that this level should be determined by members of the Russian Federation. Speaking at the State Council meeting Monday, Lapshin pointed out that the 35% level of land concentration, mentioned in the law, leads to "creation of large latifundia". The concept of property in this case is substituted by the land concentration with one owner. Lapshin believes the law must also contain an article about a priority redemption of land by the state during one fiscal year. "The state must be an active player in the land market," he stressed. The governor of the Orenburg region (southern Urals), Alexei Chernyshev, spoke for priority distribution of the farmland between those who cultivate it and the countrypeople. Chernyshev thinks it necessary that the draft bill be corrected "in terms of wording" as "it is quite difficult to read while it should be clear to peasants". Governor of the Kamchatka region Mikhail Mashkovtsev (the Far East) expressed a different opinion, speaking for "the state ownership of the farmland". He said a long-term lease with the right to inherit would be enough. "We must think it over once again whether this law is really urgent," stated Mashkovtsev. Vladimir Putin expressed sharp disagreement with this proposal, saying that the right for the land implied "being its owner, using it freely". "It is obvious", said the president.

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