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Ukraine has almost as much agricultural land as France and Germany combined and will finally start allowing it to be bought and sold in 2020. This is Europe’s last farmland frontier, and the fight over it is going to be messy.

About 17% of Ukraine’s GDP comes from agriculture, the one sector where Ukraine punches above its weight on the global stage. It’s the world’s sixth-biggest wheat exporter, a top-10 supplier of maize and barley, the global leader in sunflower oil exports, and number three in honey, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. It has more farmland than anywhere else in Europe apart from Russia, where much of the land is actually located in Asia, and Ukraine’s nutrient-rich “black earth” soil is of better quality than most of Russia’s...

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