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Putin against abolition of “agricultural land” classification category in Russia

April 18, 2012, 21:24 UTC+3

“I wrote a letter to the chairman of the government and he agreed with me that the category of agricultural land must not be abolished

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BRYANSK, April 18 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin spoke against attempts to abolish the classification of land as agricultural land in Russia.

“I wrote a letter to the chairman of the government and he agreed with me that the category of agricultural land must not be abolished.

“Any manipulation with changes as a rule result in the abolition of categories and then you can’t make head or tail of it,” Zubkov said at a meeting on the development of beef farming in Bryansk on Wednesday, April 18.

He stressed that the abolition of this category of land, which is critical for the country’s food security, would run counter to the adopted principles of special legal regime for such land and would the create risk of losing a considerable portion of such land.

Mirotorg President Viktor Linnik complained to Zubkov that the Ministry of Economic Development had decided to replace land categories with zones.

“We found out literally several weeks ago that there is the decision to abolish land categories and the status of agricultural land. We think this is a very serious decision that may have deplorable consequences. Such decisions may not be adopted without broad discussion with industry unions and agricultural producers,” Linnik said.

He was supported by Gennady Gorbunov, chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Agricultural and Food Policy: “Under no circumstances should we lose these agricultural lands.”

The Ministry of Economic Development has drafted a law that abandons the classification of land by category.

Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina said, “We gave prepared a draft law that abandons the classification of land by category.”

She recalled that this classification had been introduced because “we wanted to limit uncontrolled development and protect and preserve agricultural land and specially protected territories”.

The minister stressed that this is a law on specially protected territories and it “solves these issues”.

At the same time, Nabiullina admitted that this law does not apply to agricultural land and they are used for construction purposes “without even changing their category”.

The ministry suggests classifying valuable agricultural land into a separate category for ensuring the food security of the country and allow construction of roads, agricultural and other facilities on other categories of land.

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