MOSCOW, March 18 Russian state-owned energy
company Gazprom has proposed to develop Crimea's oil
and gas sector, an official of the Ukrainian region which has
applied to join Russia was quoted by RIA news agency as saying
"Of course, Gazprom was the first to approach us (with a
proposal)," said Rustam Temirgaliev, Crimea's first deputy prime
He was asked if the Ukrainian region, which declared its
independence and applied to join Russia following a weekend
referendum, had received proposals from Russian companies to
develop its oil and gas industry.
A Gazprom spokesman declined comments.
Last week, Temirgaliev said that the local authorities may
sell the energy firm Chornomornaftohaz to a Russian company
"such as Gazprom" once the region takes control the firm, which
is now part of a Ukrainian state energy company.
A Moscow-backed referendum in Crimea on Sunday showed
overwhelming support for joining the Russian Federation.