BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 26 June, 2002, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Russia's rich elite eyes land sale
Russian farm
Russia has huge expanses of prime land


The decision by the Russian parliament to approve the sale of land for the first time since Tsarist days is a huge step away from the country's communist legacy.

But anyone who thinks that it will produce a free and fair sell off is likely to be deluding themselves.


It would be naive in the extreme to assume that... each bidder will have equal access to all land

It has taken 10 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union for the Russian Parliament to agree on a formula for selling off land.

That delay has not been caused by careful planning - it is the result of the kind of in-fighting which dogged the sale of other state assets, such as oil, gas and timber.

In the first years of post-communist Russia, a handful of people made themselves very wealthy at the state's expense.

The so-called "oligarchs" used their new-found economic strength to wield massive political power.

President Vladimir Putin exercises a much closer form of state control than his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin.

But there is no guarantee that the best land will not be seized by a select few.

Financial advantage

Indeed, the wealth already in the hands of the few - thanks to their activities in the early 1990s - means that they are the ones best placed to take advantage of the land sale.

It would be naive in the extreme to assume that, when the law comes into effect in six months' time, each bidder will have equal access to all land.

The future of the best of Russia's huge expanses of rich farmland has already been decided around the tables of the rich and powerful.

See also:

26 Jun 02 | Business
21 Jun 02 | Business
23 Apr 02 | Business
14 Jul 01 | Europe
08 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes