Putin backs extending free land giveaway all across Russia
Vladimir Putin has backed the idea of expanding a program that offers citizens a free hectare of land in Russia’s Far East to all of the country’s regions. The Russian president made the comment during one of his annual Q&A sessions on Thursday.
When asked whether the free land program in Russia’s Far East could be expanded to other regions, Putin answered “there is enough land in Russia. Forty-three million hectares of farmland alone are not used for their intended purpose. These are huge, just huge land reserves.”
However, the president stressed that the program in the Far East should be realized first.
Under the Russian version of the Homestead Act, every citizen can get a free hectare of land in the Far East, if they are willing to put it to good use. Within the first year, the recipients must declare how they want to use the land, and, in three years, must report on how it is being developed. After five years, the land can be sold or leased.
Some 93,000 applications have been received since the program was launched in June of last year and nearly 20,000 of those have been approved.
The regions with free land on offer include Yakutia, Kamchatka, Chukotka, Primorye, Khabarovsk, Amur, Magadan, and Sakhalin, as well as the Jewish Autonomous Region. The land can be used for any lawful purpose, but the new owners cannot rent, sell, or give the land away for five years.
Foreigners are also eligible to use the land, but the registration of full property rights is only possible after the recipient becomes a naturalized citizen.