By a vote of 285 to 10, the Russian Duma yesterday adopted a controversial land code outlawing the sale of arable land. An earlier version of the code was rejected last year by the Federation Council because it contained a similar provision. The Duma says it has nothing against the constitutionally-sanctioned right to private ownership of land, but still insists that the free sale of farmland land must not be allowed. The Duma also adopted a Communist-sponsored law on mortgages that bans the mortgaging of arable land (that is, prevents its being used as a pledge). (RTR, June 11) The legislation is certain not to be approved by President Boris Yeltsin, who last year circumvented the Duma’s resistance by passing a presidential decree authorizing the free sale of land.
Russian Economy: Still Not Growing.