Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky / REUTERS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says the Ukrainian government counters huge resistance by some politicians and businesses to land reform and the launch of the farmland market, meanwhile, an area of 5 million hectares (ha) has already been stolen.

Read alsoZelensky: Farmland remains cheap over lack of transparent marketThe comment came during Zelensky's annual address to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, on October 20, as reported by an UNIAN correspondent.

"Our important promise and, without exaggeration, a historic decision is the launch of a land market in Ukraine. There was a huge opposition to this reform, manipulation and myths, the desire of politicians and individual businesses to preserve the 'gray' market where during this time they stole 5 million hectares of land," he said.

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Zelensky stressed the farmland market law, enacted by him, allows the purchase of land by Ukrainian citizens only, it sets limits on the maximum area owned by one person and provides preferential terms for Ukrainian farmers.

Land market

Main provisions of bill No. 2178-10 are the following:

  • Only individuals who are citizens of Ukraine shall be able to buy land before January 1, 2024;
  • Foreigners' access to the purchase of land in Ukraine shall be possible only after the relevant decision is adopted at a national referendum;
  • Agricultural land in state and municipal ownership shall not be sold;
  • In the first two years after the launch of land reform, land purchases shall be limited to 100 ha per buyer;
  • From January 1, 2024, Ukrainian legal entities shall be allowed to buy land, but no more than 10,000 ha;
  • Only non-cash payments shall be allowed. Banks may be owners of land within the framework of collateral recovery. Such plots must be alienated at auctions within two years.
  • Legal entities whose owners are citizens of the aggressor state (Russia) and/or sanctioned individuals shall be banned from acquiring land even following the referendum;
  • Foreign citizens shall be barred from buying land within 50 km from the state border;
  • The selling price of farmland plots shall not be lower than estimates of their normative monetary value;
  • These rules will be in effect until January 1, 2030.