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Ukraine gas firm says no forces around offshore Crimea rigs

Published on Mar 13, 2014 8:20 PM

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (REUTERS) - A Ukraine state gas company Chornomornaftogaz official said its rigs off Crimea were not occupied by armed men, after a regional separatist leader said on Thursday that local authorities were guarding the facilities.

Mr Vladimir Konstantinov, speaker of the Crimean regional assembly which is seeking to leave Ukraine and unite with Russia, had told Russian news agency RIA: "These fields and platforms will become the property of the Crimean Republic in their entirety. We are already guarding them.

"They are our fields and we will fight for them."

Another Crimean official said on Wednesday that the region was taking ownership of Ukrainian state companies on its territory, including the offshore fields of Chornomornaftogaz, a subsidiary of the main state energy company Naftogaz.

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