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First Families Approved for Siberia Homesteads

Upper Amur River Courtesy Mongolian Outfitters
The Upper Amur River (Courtesy Mongolian Outfitters)

News that the first families to have received their free homesteads in Russia's Amur region, tells of a program that aims at developing the Far East going forward. 3 families are now all set to become the first of many to settle in the Arkharinsky district, which borders China. 

According to the initial reports from Interfax, two more applications are being processed as well, one of which is a collective application for 3 more familes who want to set up beekeeping activities. For those unfamiliar, the Arkharinsky district is located at the junction of the border with China and with Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region. The district is crossed by the Trans-Siberian railroad and the Chita-Khabarovsk federal highway, and possesses roughly 50,000 hectares of agricultural land and 500,000 hectares of forest. The local ministry in charge of land told reporters some 20 more people have shown an interest in the plots so far, and Governor Alexander Kozlov offered this: 

"The Arkharinsky district, in the South-East region has a very favorable climate, so we expect that more people will show interest to free land in this area. The regional government has done everything in its power to assist those wanting to claim their hectares."

As for the program, the Russian State Duma adopted a law back in April, which allows Russians the right to claim a free hectare (10,000 square meters) of land in the Far East. The areas included in the new law include;  Yakutia, Kamchatka, Chukotka, Primorye, Khabarovsk, Amur, Magadan, Sakhalin and the Jewish Autonomous Regions. According to this plan, land can be used for any lawful purpose, but the new owners cannot rent, sell, or give away the land for a minumum of 5 years. The map below shows the regions. 

1- Amur Region, 2 - Jewish Autonomous Region, 3 - Kamchatka, 4 - Magadan Region, 5 - Primorye, 6 - Yakutia, 7 - Sakhalin Region, 8 - Khabarovsk Region, 9 - Chukotka Autonomous Region.

Since news came out that Russian Presindent Vladimir Putin approved the land giveaways to boost the economy of these Siberian regions, news of interest as far abroad as Britain has been a mini-trend. According to one poll conducted by The Express in the UK, British residents were the first to say they would quit the UK for a new life of opportunity to move to the Far East of Russia. 

As for these first families, authorities say they have already approved the land plots, and property boundaries have been registered.