"The land belongs to Ukrainians. In the model we propose with the government, only Ukrainian citizens and Ukrainian companies will be able to buy or sell land. Horror stories about the Chinese, about the Arabs or about the aliens who will bring out our land on wagons are nonsense," he said at a conference on land management reform in Kyiv on Thursday.
He said that the issue of the land market in Ukraine is very sensitive right now and therefore requires broad and public discussion.
At the same time, the head of state said he was convinced that the land is the property of citizens and they should finally have "not a hybrid, but a full right of ownership of their native land," i.e. the right to own, use and dispose of their land.
Zelensky recalled that in 2001, a law imposing a moratorium on the sale of agricultural land stipulated that MPs should develop a transparent mechanism for buying or selling land.
According to him, the mechanism has not been set out over the past 18 years, but a "large-scale prosperous shadow market" has emerged.
Earlier, Zelensky instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to submit to the Verkhovna Rada a bill on the agricultural land market by October 1, 2019. The parliament should adopt it by December 1.
A ban on the sale of agricultural land in Ukraine was introduced in 2001. The moratorium has repeatedly been extended since 2002. In December 2018, the Verkhovna Rada extended it until January 1, 2020.
Zelensky said at the Ukrainian-Turkish business forum in Istanbul in August that Ukraine would carry out land reform by the end of the year to create a land market for 40 million hectares.
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