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Lithuania easing restrictions on farmland sale to foreigners to enter OECD

Staff Writer |
Lithuania's parliament started adjusting restrictions on farmland sale to foreigners.

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The old provisions could impede the country's accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), informs LETA/BNS.

Amendments to the constitutional law update the criteria of the countries whose citizens could buy agricultural land in Lithuania, dropping the requirement for the countries to provide at least equal rights for Lithuanian citizens.

Authors of the law said the latter requirement was inconsistent with OECD standards, as it could encourage protectionism and restrict movement of capital.

Under the bill, land in Lithuania will be sold to citizens and companies of the European Union (EU), NATO, OECD and the European economic area, given that the countries are not members of organizations dominated by Russia, namely, the Commonwealth of Independent States or the Eurasian Union.

Russia is not yet part of OECD, however, is seeking membership in the organization.

Up until now, the law stipulated criteria of European and trans-Atlantic integration, however, the wording was a bit different.

In the first phase, the bill was approved for discussion by 95 votes, while two members abstained and none voted against. Final approval will require two more votes.

Lithuania expects to receive an invitation to OECD in 2018.

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