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Kazakh President Extends Ban On Land Privatization For Five Years

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev listens to Russian President during a meeting in Sochi on August 16.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has prolonged a moratorium on land privatization and land leasing to foreigners until December 2021.

The presidential press service said the decision was made on August 18, five days after a land-reform commission recommended the prolongation of the moratorium for five years.

In May, Nazarbaev postponed the controversial plan to privatize state-owned farmland by 2017 and ordered to establish the land-reform commission.

Nazarbaev's announcement in early May followed nearly two weeks of mass demonstrations across the country.

Many participants expressed concern that the plan would allow foreigners to own Kazakh agricultural land.

Demonstrators have also expressed concern that the land auctions would not be done in a transparent way and that the country's elite, rather than farmers, would end up owning the land.

Based on reporting by Tengrinews and Kazinform