West's influence in Ukraine continues to grow
After the Maidan revolution in 2014, the debate about whether farmland should be a commodity has intensified in Ukraine, Laszlo Brezovics, the chairman of the Hungarian Cultural Association of Transcarpathia told V4NA, adding that foreign agricultural companies had already been present in Ukraine and had acquired land through lease deals. Under President Zelensky, the moratorium on land sales was lifted, in large part because of Western lobbying, which intensified after the events of Maidan Square in 2014 and the overthrow of President Yanukovych.
In 2001, Ukraine passed a law that put a temporary ban on the sale of farmland. The moratorium was later extended several times, despite a serious debate in the country about whether or not farmland should be a commodity again. Post 2014, this process has accelerated, and it was during the presidency of Zelensky and the parliamentary majority of the Servants of the People party that the law, allowing land sales with certain restrictions, was adopted, Laszlo Brezovics, the chairman of the Hungarian Cultural Association of Transcarpathia told V4NA.
The concentration of these lands had already taken place, Mr Brenzovics explained, as leasing was not prohibited by law. As a result, based on long-term leases, huge latifundia were created on the country’s large, wheat-growing areas. Lease contracts can be concluded for a maximum period of 49 years, and this is what big agricultural businesses tend to conclude, the politician added.
After Ukraine’s arable lands became a commodity, foreigners were prohibited from purchasing lands, unlike corporations and business entities. However, knowing the exact ownership composition of the companies that have bought up the country’s farmlands is impossible. Reportedly, Chinese and US businesses were also able to acquire land through various companies. However, it is an undeniable fact that vast agricultural estates have been created on tens, or even hundreds of thousands of hectares.
The contracts usually include a preemptive clause, and from 2024, lessees will also possess a preemptive right to land under the law. However, it is impossible to see clearly the ownership structure of these giant companies,
Mr Brenzovics added. The adoption of the law has faced significant resistance for quite a while, but Mr Zelensky and his allies eventually managed to squeeze it through. Although large and small Western companies were already present in Ukraine before 2014, this process – the conclusion of lease contracts and the adoption of the Land Law – has palpably accelerated after 2014, the politician noted.
Moreover, the law was clearly adopted under foreign pressure.
The country’s two biggest creditors, the IMF and the World Bank, have also put pressure on Ukraine to lift the moratorium on land purchases to secure new loans.
In its study published in 2014, the California-based Oakland Institute revealed that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have prescribed that Ukraine open its economy to GMO crops and lift its land sales moratorium, as a prerequisite to securing a loan. Had the Eastern European country met these criteria, it would have received a loan of 17 billion dollars.
As is known, President Yanukovych decided in favour of a smaller Russian loan instead, which included a gas purchase discount for Ukraine. In part, this deal has led to the events on Maidan Square, which ended in a bloody revolution and caused his fall.
Western actors, especially George Soros’s foundation, also played a rather active role in sparking the Maidan Square events.
Ukraine: the most successful political project of Soros’s network
George Soros’s empire of foundations has been present in Ukraine since 1990 through the International Renaissance Foundation. After Ukraine attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the foundation has continued its steady network-building. By 1994, it became one of the largest NGOs in the country, but it gained the greatest political influence after the overthrow of the Yanukovych government.
Soros’s foundation played a major role in triggering the Maidan Revolution, which began with peaceful student demonstrations, but turned into bloodshed and deadly clashes, eventually leading to the fall of Mr Yanukovych and his cabinet.
From 1999 to 2018, Yevhen Bystrytsky was the head of the International Renaissance Foundation, the Ukrainian organisation of the Open Society Foundations. In an audio recording, Mr Bystrytsky – who assumed that he was speaking to a potential donor – says that their group played a “key role” in how the events unfolded, as well as in the “development of civic activism”.
In another interview, he discloses that the foundation provided financial assistance to demonstrators during the Euromaidan events. Besides helping the organisers’ work, the foundation also provided protesters with tents, clothes and food in an effort to keep up their enthusiasm. It also financed a medical team to take care of those injured.
During the interview, George Soros’s local strongman in Ukraine also reveals that the billionaire stock exchange speculator was “extremely interested in Ukraine” at the time, adding that the Renaissance Foundation played a major role in the dialogue between the new government and NGOs after the ousting of the Yanukovych government.
“The foundation has set up strategic advisory boards in ministries that developed documents for the implementation of reforms such as decentralisation, e-governance, privatisation of state-owned enterprises, deregulation, changes in education, education reform, health care reform, and anti- corruption reforms,” Yevhen Bystrytsky says. This clearly shows that George Soros’s foundation has infiltrated all areas of governance, and exerted influence on nearly all fields. they had more than a hundred trusted allies working in, or for the various ministries, he adds.