World Bank, IMF and EBRD push for controversial land reform in Ukraine

Dec 12, 2019

Source: Bretton Woods Project

December 12, 2019

A November article on news site Common Dreams analysed a bill that became a draft land reform law in Ukraine’s parliament. The draft law, which lacks measures to ensure that land is not concentrated in the hands of wealthy landowners, or to prevent land purchases being backed by foreign corporations, passed its first reading in November despite protests outside parliament and the opposition of 73 per cent of the population.

The article highlighted that Ukraine has come under sustained pressure, including from the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), to end its 18-year moratorium on land sales, noting that, “In August 2019, the World Bank approved a US$200 million loan for the restructuring of the agricultural market and the auctioning of state lands.” The Bank’s privatisation agenda for Ukraine was outlined by its president David Malpass in a Financial Times article during his visit to the country in August. The reforms were also supported by a 2018 IMF loan to Ukraine, which the UN independent expert on foreign debt and human rights criticised for its privatisation agenda (see Observer Autumn 2018).

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