Document concerning proposed land reform in Ukraine: INTRODUCTION
Prytulak   InfoUkes Posting   09-Feb-1998


Date:  Mon, 09 Feb 1998 17:25:24 -0800
To: [email protected]
From:  Lubomyr Prytulak
Subject: Document concerning proposed land reform in Ukraine: INTRODUCTION

I have received a document from Ukraine detailing proposed legislation concerning the reform of land laws in Ukraine.  The source of the document, I will for the moment withold.  The chief aim of the proposed legislation is to resolve the question of land ownership in such a way as to promote Ukrainization.

The questions which the document is likely to elicit in some minds are:
  1. In what region of Ukraine, and from what movement, does the proposed legislation originate?
  2. Would the world permit such legislation to be passed without censure?
  3. Would Western countries, particularly the U.S., continue foreign aid to Ukraine in the event such legislation was passed?
  4. Does the proposed legislation contravene international laws or international declarations of human rights?
  5. Does the proposed legislation have a parallel anywhere else in the civilized world?
  6. Is it conceivable that such legislation could be passed without Ukraine erupting into civil war?

Here is my translation from the Ukrainian of a portion of this document:

The State of Ukraine will limit land privatization to around 8% of total land, the remaining 92% will be defined as "state land."  After those lands are defined as owned by the State of Ukraine, they can be leased for long periods only to Ukrainians.  The right to a long-term lease of such land will be denied to all non-Ukrainians without a single exception.  This denial will be enforced by placing all state lands under the administration of the Ukrainian National Fund, whose statutes will forbid their long-term lease, or any other use, to non-Ukrainians.  Their lease to Ukrainians, conditional upon the prohibition of sub-lease to non-Ukrainians, will be granted for a period of 49 years with an automatic renewal for another 49-year period.  Consequently, they will be treated as property and will be bought, sold and mortgaged, provided the party to the deal is Ukrainian.  An exception would be a small number of cases of leasing state land to non-Ukrainians for grazing for periods never exceeding eleven months.  A Ukrainian lessee of state land will be allowed, often subsidized or otherwise encouraged, to develop the land and especially to build a house for himself there, but a non-Ukrainian lessee will be strictly prohibited to do so.  Leasing state land to a non-Ukrainian will be accompanied by restrictive conditions, such as the prohibition of construction or development, or of sub-leasing it to somebody else.

Lubomyr Prytulak
Ukrainian Archive:    www.ukar.org
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