Actor and martial arts aficionado Steven Seagal received Russian citizenship from President Vladimir Putin in 2016. Now he is seeking to take advantage of Russia’s ‘homesteading’ program in Siberia, near Lake Baikal, the largest fresh water lake in the world.
He arrived in Buryatia on July 21, intending to visit Lake Baikal and the Ivolginsky Datsan, and also to familiarize himself with the culture and traditions of the Old Believers, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
The ‘Old Believers’ are a group of Orthodox Christians who believe in the traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church prior to Tsar Peter the Great.
“Steven Seagal is not ruling out his participation in the Far East Hectare. The Hollywood star would like to teach martial arts to the children of Buryatia and to protect Lake Baikal,” the press service said.
Since the Far East Hectare program began, over 2,100 people have received land in Buryatia, and over 3,200 people were granted land in the Trans-Baikal Region. Most often, the plots of land are acquired for residential construction. The high filing activity in the Trans-Baikal Region is attributed to the fact that there is no buffer zone near the Region’s capital city of Chita, making it possible to obtain land 30 minutes away from the city center. The buffer zone surrounding Buryatia’s capital city of Ulan Ude is being diminshed, as well.
On November 3, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order, transferring the two regions from the Siberian Federal District to the Far Eastern Federal District. As of August 1, land is to be offered via the Far East Hectare program there. Locals can obtain land within 42 days of filing an application. They are exempt from land tax for five years. Starting from February 1, 2020, all residents of the Far Eastern Federal District became eligible for the program. As of August 1, 2020, the program will cover all Russian citizens and compatriots living abroad.
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