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Land can be sold only to Ukrainians - prime minister

"Land sale ban can be removed only upon ensuring the rights of land owners."

Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman says the limited sale of land can be allowed, but only between the citizens of Ukraine. "We can create a model of the land market under which Ukrainian citizens will be allowed to sell their land to other Ukrainians - and in limited quantities," the head of government said on 112-Ukraine TV channel on Tuesday, 4 April.

Groysman said he believed that parliament would support such model of land market, which, in his opinion, would spur the growth of a "sustainable and decent class of farmers" in Ukraine

He would not support a land reform, which can benefit mostly "large agro-holdings or foreigners who could come to Ukraine and buy up the land".

"The land sale ban can be removed only upon ensuring the rights of land owners. Ukrainian citizens are very sensitive on the topic of the land. We are in talks with the IMF only to create a modern quality environment for the turnover of land," the prime minister said.

On 17 February, 55 Ukrainian lawmakers petitioned the Constitutional Court asking to void the land sale moratorium.

The temporary ban on the sale of agricultural land in Ukraine has been extended for years as the proponents of the moratorium claimed that Ukraine has yet to decide on the model of the land market.

The abolition of the moratorium is required by the International Monetary Fund and supported by leading Ukrainian economists.