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Russian Court Rules Farmers Get Compensation For Losses To China

KHABAROVSK, Russia -- A regional court in Russia's Far East has upheld a court decision obliging the Finance Ministry to pay compensation to farmers who lost their land as a result of the Russo-Chinese border demarcation, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Following the 2005 border demarcation, several small islands and the western part of the Big Ussuri Island (Heixiazi Dao) in the Amur River in Khabarovsk Krai were ceded by Russia to China. The move sparked negative reactions among the local Russian population when the land transfers were made in 2008.

Two local families whose lands fell under Chinese jurisdiction filed lawsuits demanding compensation from the Russian government. The Abramov family demanded 2 million rubles ($67,500) and the Varganov family sought 755,000 rubles ($25,500).

In February, Khabarovsk Krai's Central District Court ruled that the Russian government must pay those sums in full to the farmers.

Russian Finance Ministry officials said on March 31 they would challenge that day's regional court ruling at a higher court.

Meanwhile, farmers say that they plan to file a further lawsuit demanding financial compensation for moral suffering and legal costs.