© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Sayapin
© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Sayapin


Authorities of Russia’s Transbaikalia say they may sign early next year an agreement on lending to Chinese investors for 49 years of 115,000 hectares of land, Governor Konstantin Ilkovsky said on Friday.

Several public organisations and legislators were concerned the agreement may threaten the national security and planned to ask the president and the prime minister, as well as security authorities to study to the decision and to offer public discussions.

“As yet, we have signed a protocol of intention, under which we shall have big discussions in the region: which areas to lend, what crops will be grown, what the value added tax should be, how many investments we shall receive, what share of Russian labour will be used there,” the governor said in an interview with Izvestia. “It is a long road, and we want to make a decision before sowing begins next year.”

The local authorities, he said, hope the agreement may be signed in the first quarter of 2016.

“The target is February – March,” the governor said. “The sowing begins in mid-May, and investors should be able to get ready and to begin working without missing a season.”.