Armenia bans foreigners from owning agricultural land

Armenia bans foreigners from owning agricultural land

Armenia deprived foreign citizens of the right to own agricultural land in the country, according to a set of changes to Armenia’s Land Code, passed today by the parliament in the second and final reading.

The country's first deputy justice minister Artur Hovhannisyan explained that the changes affect both foreign nationals and former citizens of Armenia who did not acquire or lost the special status of a foreign citizen in a timely manner. According to him, the changes are stipulated in the new edition of the Constitution.

He said if citizens of Armenia are deprived of their citizenship, the community in which they own land plot will have the right to put it out for a public auction and sell it within a year. The decision on the sale of land plot can also be made on the basis of a court ruling on a community petition.

If a person has emigrated to another country and adopted its citizenship, or if they are in Armenia, but do not have Armenian citizenship, then under the new rules their land plots will be alienated, ARKA reported.

Hovhannisyan stressed that all data on citizens, as well as their property, will be constantly checked by the state register and other responsible structures for regular monitoring and verification.

"It should also be emphasized that the provision of the law applies only to agricultural land and will not extend to other real estate, including the houses of non-residents," Hovhannisyan added.

In total, 14,041 citizens applied from 2012 to 2017 for the renunciation of Armenian citizenship.

The chairman of the economic commission of the Armenian National Congress, ex-mayor of Yerevan Vahagn Khachatryan, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said that the measure is aimed at containing migration from the republic, after which individuals renounce the citizenship of Armenia.

Khachatryan explained that initially banning foreigners from the right to own agricultural land in the country was connected with fears of buying out the territories of the republic by its neighbors.

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