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Business news, 09.06.2004 13:25

Land law in action

Land law in action The Leningrad Oblast Legislative Assembly has passed a law on agricultural land sales in the region, banning such land from being purchased by foreigners, as determined by federal legislation.

The law specifies that no less then 1 hectare of land can be sold at one time, with the total amount of land offered not exceeding 10 percent of the total agricultural area of a district. The land is to be used for agricultural purposes only, and not converted for other uses.

The Leningrad Oblast also retains the right of priority in open tenders for agricultural land plots, allocating 10 million rubles ($345,000) for this purpose.

By passing the land law local authorities have done nothing except bringing local law to accordance with federal legislation, said Vladimir Leonov, the Legislative Assembly lawmaker quoted by Rosbalt last week. "This is an absolutely complacent decision that doesn't add anything to federal legislation. [Lawmakers] had an opportunity not to pass a regional law that approves the federal law and contradict the Constitution," Leonov said.

According to federal legislation put in force in January 2004, foreign citizens can only rent agricultural land for long-term periods. However, the law does not prohibit Russian entities that buy properties from being 100 percent foreign owned.

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