2007 is the last year to resolve the land issue in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Victor Yushchenko has told a news conference in Simferopol, according to the President`s press-office.

      The President expressed confidence no faction in Ukraine’s parliament would vote to extend the moratorium on the sale of farmland in 2008.

      Speaking about how to resolve the land issue in the autonomy, he said 94% of its land had been parceled out over the past six years, but added there were still problems in how to demarcate it. He said the local authorities should do this “routine job” before compiling a cadastre.

      “Naturally, many officials will oppose the creation of the cadastre, as it will show who owns this or that lot,” he said.

      The President expressed hopes the Crimean government will use a recently enacted law on criminal responsibility for misappropriation of land as a tool to settle the problem.

      Later, during a TV interview, the President was asked about Crimean wildlife preserves and said, “The Verkhovna Rada has to pass a bill to use at least one hectare of such land, which has to be signed by the President. I can assure you today that I will not sign any of such bills.”

      He also said there should be more nature reserves in Crimea.