Communist and Agrarian Duma deputies have drafted legislation to counteract the recent presidential decree that gave farmers the right to sell land freely or bequeath it to their heirs, Moskovsky komsomolets reported April 5. The Duma bill would forbid the sale or purchase of land. Moreover, a farmer would be allowed to rent land only as long as he was healthy and able to cultivate it personally. Should his health deteriorate, the land would automatically pass to the state, and the farmer’s heirs would have no claims to it. Farmers would also be forbidden to sell their shares in agricultural property, even within their own collective or state-owned farms. Vladimir Bashmachnikov, Duma deputy and chairman of the Russian Private Farmers’ and Agricultural Cooperatives’ Association, was quoted as saying the aim of the bill was to prevent ordinary Russians from becoming genuine landowners.
Centrists Fail to Strike Deal.