The lawyers of the audit company PriceWaterhouseCoopers filed lawsuit to Drohobych District Court on behalf of Ivan K. and farmer Dmitry Ognev to abolish the land sale moratorium - a rule that held back foreign investment in Ukraine for years. This could be a precedent for lifting the long-standing ban on the sale of agricultural land, Head of Real Estate practice, PwC Legal, Olga Balytska informed HB Business.
According to her, on September 11, 2018, using their right to freely dispose of property, the plaintiffs applied to a private notary to certify a contract for the purchase and sale of agricultural land plot with a total area of 1.1391 hectares located in Lviv region.
However, the notary refused to certify the transaction, as in Ukraine since 2002 there is a moratorium on the sale of agricultural land.
"Ukraine has remained the only state in Europe and one of the last six countries in the world where the sale of land is prohibited - along with Tajikistan, Cuba and the Congo", Balitskaya noted.
According to her, the moratorium on sale of agricultural land in Ukraine is in conflict with the provisions of international law. Thus, the European Court of Human Rights found it as the violation of human rights, in particular Article 1 of the First Protocol of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the case of Zelenchuk and Tsitsyura v. Ukraine. And given the principle of "the primacy of international law," the norms of the Convention take precedence over other Ukrainian legislation, including the Transitional Provisions of the Land Code, which established a moratorium.
"The company decided to take up this business because millions of Ukrainians are obviously interested in winning the law over the absurd, and we are capable of creating a precedent that will break through the colossal dam, opening a practical opportunity to sell our site." We are fully aware that the trial will not end in Drohobych's court, and are set for a long struggle in the courts, where on the one hand there will be politics and the lobby, but with our - the current and unambiguous norms of legislation", explained Balitskaya.