Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 118

The Lithuanian parliament yesterday adopted by a large majority a constitutional amendment allowing land sales to foreigners under clearly defined conditions. Under the amendment, Lithuanian nonagricultural land may be bought in full ownership by citizens and business firms of countries which are members of the European Union, NATO, or the G-7, or have an association agreement with the EU. Those citizens and firms may buy Lithuanian land only for building business facilities or using facilities already standing on it. Land in public use, including state-owned forest and park lands, may not be traded. The amendment as reported excludes CIS member countries, whose citizens and firms may only lease Lithuanian land.

In a simultaneous measure yesterday, the parliament ratified Lithuania’s association agreement with the European Union. (Western agencies, June 20). The agreement was signed in June 1995, but its ratification stalled because Lithuania was slow in meeting the EU’s condition that land be freed for sale to foreign subjects. That condition was long resisted by Lithuanian political forces concerned about the prospect that Russian money would move in and would take over Lithuanian agricultural land and property. The terms agreed upon yesterday seem to meet those concerns.

Grachev’s Georgian Godfather Grateful.