Russian parliamentarians wanted so much to put the question about agricultural soils circulation to national referendum to make their voters responsible for it, tough, alas… they were not lucky. The State Duma has now on itself to decide whether it will permit to foreign citizens buying earth in Russia, or they will have only the right to a long-term lease of Russian soils. This was reported by the chairman of the Duma Committee on Agriculture, Gennady Kulik (Fatherland – All Russia faction), while presenting on Friday the draft law “Concerning Agricultural Soils Circulation,” which should be considered in its second reading.
Gennady Kulik noticed that the working group of deputies and the Government officials had not managed to find a common decision on the issue, so he put to the deputies’ consideration two variants of the amendments.
According to the first of them, introduced by the leaders of the four centrist unions of the Duma, foreign citizens and firms with over 50 percent of foreign capital can only lease soils for the term up to 49 years. 336 deputies voted for passing this norm, while to make a decision at least the 226 deputy vote is necessary, 6 deputies voted against it and 2 abstained from voting.
The second amendment permits to foreigners to buy agricultural soils after three years of effective lease. At the same time, executive and legislation bodies of the Russian Federation subjects could address to the Russian President asking to ban buying soils by foreigners in certain area, while the President has right to establish a list of such territories.
Here, the deputies were uncompromising, while feeling something wrong (at least, who knows what the regions decide) and declined this amendment. So, foreigners were left without Russian soils. Now, Russian soil will be bought by Russian money-bags (if, of course, they need it at all).
Deputies tried so much to annihilate all loopholes for foreigners, so they made a lot of mistakes, so, clever people will, certainly, use them.
Yegor Belous PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/06/21/43027.html