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Putin Signs Law To Give Away Land In Far East

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill to hand out hectares of land free of charge in Russia's Far East in a bid to attract people to the vast region.

The law was published on the official law information portal on May 2.

The offer is open to all Russian citizens, with the only requirement being that they put the land to use.

Under the law, Russian citizens can receive a one-hectare land plot owned by state or municipal authorities in such regions of the Far East as Sakha-Yakutia, Kamchatka, Primorye, Khabarovsk, Amur,Magadan, Sakhalin, the Jewish Autonomous Region, and Chukotka.

Those interested in the offer can hold on to their land plots free of rent, tax or any other payment for five years. After that, they will receive titles to the plots if they can prove the land has been used during the period.

The project could increase the region's population nearly six-fold -- to 36 million people, from the current 6.4 million, according to estimates by Russia's Minister for the Development of the Far East, Aleksandr Galushka.

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