Far East land handout programme could start this year

Yuri Trutnev, Presidential Envoy to Russia’s Far East

Far East land handout: A government initiative to give every resident of Russia’s Far East a free hectare of land could start this year, the country’s Minister for Far East Development Alexander Galushka  said on Tuesday after winning tacit approval from President Vladimir Putin for the plan. There are 614 million hectares of  under-utilised state-owned land in the Far East which could be used for “agriculture, business development, forestry or hunting,” according  to the plan’s author, the  Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev.  It is envisaged that only Russian citizens living in the region would be eligible for the handout which for older Russians will have echoes of the Virgin Lands campaign of the 1950s when thousands of young citizens volunteered to move to Siberia and Kazakhstan. The Moscow Times