Statement by the Prime Minister of Georgia Print Version

2017-09-12

I would like to comment on the issue of amending the moratorium on agricultural land.

First of all, I would like to clearly state that the moratorium remains in force, agricultural land cannot be alienated to foreign nationals, and the opponents' statements on this issue only seek to mislead the public.

It is at the initiative of our Government that agricultural land has been recognized as a strategic resource and its alienation to foreign citizens has been restricted, and a special constitutional provision has been adopted to this end.

The talks about the provisional amendment to the moratorium contradicting the constitutional provision are false.

The amendment applies only to the financial sector and for a limited period at that. It stipulates that, until the law comes into force, financial organizations and banks may keep the right to temporarily register agricultural lands as their property, with the reservation that, after a certain period of time, they will sell these lands, and sell them only to Georgian citizens.

The only goal of this provisional amendment is to enable farmers to use their lands as proprietary assets, to cooperate with the financial sector, and to enjoy various state-run agricultural programs, and, at the same time, to ensure against any threats undermining the development of agriculture.

I reiterate with all assuredness that the provisional amendment rules out any possibility of alienating agricultural land to foreign citizens, and the recent insinuations about this issue only seek to mislead the public.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili

Prime Minister of Georgia