Nearly 100,000 Russians claimed free land in Far East
Around 95,000 people received a free hectare of land under Russia’s state-backed land giveaway program in the country’s Far East.
“We continue to implement the Far East hectare program. In several days, 95,000 people will be provided with a free hectare of land,” Yuri Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), currently underway in Russia’s Vladivostok.
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Trutnev noted that most of the time people take land for individual housing construction or to start businesses in the agriculture, tourism and recreation spheres.
The program, approved by the president in 2016, is meant to populate and develop Russia’s Far East. Initially, any Russian citizen could claim their free hectare (10,000 square meters) of land in Russia’s Eastern and Pacific regions. A year after the program was introduced, Putin proposed expanding it to foreign citizens with ancestors born on Russian territory.
The areas covered in the program include Yakutia, Kamchatka, Chukotka, Primorye, Khabarovsk, Amur, Magadan, Sakhalin, and the Jewish Autonomous Regions. The land can be used for any lawful purpose, but the new owners cannot rent, sell, or give it away for five years. The claims for free land in the Far East are coming from all over Russia, according to Kamchatka Governor Vladimir Ilyukhin.
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According to the official land register, Russia currently has about 198 million hectares of agricultural land, of which at least 28 million is state-owned and unused.
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