The news agency Interfax-Ukraine today quotes an expert saying that the land reform without judicial reforms will be a risk.
In two months, the moratorium on sales of agricultural land are formally lifted, introducing a market for farm land in Ukraine. However, the legislation supposed to support the law is not yet in place.
This, and poor infrastructure, poses a risk of “negative consequences” for the “Ukrainian statehood,” the director of the Ukrainian Barometer sociological service Viktor Nebozhenko says on Interfax-Ukraine today.
“Ukraine needs land reform, but it must be complemented by a judicial reform that would regulate possible conflicts. This is important. There is a risk of banditry with landlessness in the future. For example, there is a farmer who owns fertile land, and tomorrow he is shown documents that the land is no longer his. And with the judicial system that is now in Ukraine, it will end badly,” Nebozhenko said.
In the article, that quotes an Interfax-Ukraine conference on politics, the political analyst Valentyn Hladkykh added, that “there danger of excessive concentration of land in transnational companies or land oligarchs.”
What will happen to the land?
Hladko adds another reason for land reform scepticism. Ukraine is well-known to possess a third of the world’s black soil, the most fertile type of soil, but there is no guarantee that the buyers of agricultural land will develop the land.
People like Hladkykh are worried, that instead of development, the farm land will be an object of speculation, meaning that instead of developing the land, the buyers will just wait for it to rise in value.
The main goal of the land reform, however, and probably the main reason that Zelensky spent so much political capital on forcing it through the parliament, is that it was a requirement from IMF, if Ukraine were to receive the first tranch of a 5 billion USD loan.
The international partners of Ukraine are still happy with the reform.