Move to lift ban on farmland sale
Ukraine’s Parliament has passed a bill in its first reading to remove a ban on the sale of farmland, a move supported by the country’s foreign backers and hailed by Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk as a step away from “feudalism.” A total of 240 lawmakers backed the bill on November 13 to lift the nearly two-decade ban in October 2020, as dozens of protesters opposed to the reform gathered outside the Parliament building. The proposed legislation, which is strongly promoted by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, must be voted on a second time to come into force. “This day will go down in the history of Ukraine,” Honcharuk said in a Facebook post after the vote. “Finally, we can move away from feudalism to real market relations as a fully fledged, developed country,” the prime minister added. Those who want to scrap the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land, which was introduced in 2001, say the move would unlock enormous investment potential. However, critics raised concerns that it could allow local oligarchs and foreigners to force out poorer Ukrainians in purchasing plots.