15 April 1998
Land auctions could provide
catalyst for change in Russia

OTHER parts of Russia are hoping to follow the Saratov region in the south-west, which held the countrys first private land auction five years after the collapse of Communism.

The auction of 20 land plots last month, including farmland, is to be followed by further sales in the region this month. Other areas such as Tatarstan want to follow suit.

The Financial Times says land auctions could provide the catalyst for change that is so badly needed in Russia. The auction was important because private land sales have remained taboo even five years after the country launched its dash to a market economy and allowed farmers to own their own land.

President Boris Yeltsin sees private land ownership as crucial to the development in Russia of a strong farm sector.

  • Financial Times 15/04/98 page VIII (Russia supplement)