President demands steps to solve land crisis

11:00, 21 September 2006
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In particular, in the south of Ukraine

Addressing the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko has said there is no time to put off the solution of the land problem in Crimea, according to the President’s press-office.

In his speech, the President said the government lacked political determination and will to tackle one of Crimea’s most pressing problems.

“We have not yet developed and approved land procedures for the southern coast of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. We can organize a nice tour to show who owns these Crimean lands and whose projects are being carried out on the coast,” he said.

Mr. Yushchenko criticized the central government and the Crimean authorities for failing to implement his decisions and commands. He said some government officials obviously used the land problem to make unreasonable profits.

“The government finds it profitable to do it. It is directly involved in it, its interests are there,” he said, adding that such delays resulted in illegal misappropriation and allotment of valuable coastal lands, particularly those used for recreation or to preserve wildlife.

He said no land bills and mechanisms of evaluating damage inflicted on land had been developed. Mr. Yushchenko also said the government had not yet subordinated the State Inspection for the Use and Protection of Lands to Ukraine’s Environmental Ministry.

The Head of State called on the government to give land to the deported Tatars. He opined: "No one can claim there is no land in Crimea to resolve this problem. Crimea has no order to resolve it.”

He also said the Tatars were seizing fewer lands than other nationalities

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