MOSCOW, March 12 (Reuters) - Crimea will soon take ownership of Ukrainian state companies on its territory, its first deputy prime minister said on Wednesday, pushing forward with steps to cement the region's independence before a referendum on joining Russia.
Crimea, a southern Ukrainian region which is home to the Russian Black Sea fleet, will vote on Sunday on whether to join Russia. Since pro-Russian separatists took control of the regional parliament almost two weeks ago, it has declared Crimea part of the Russian Federation.
At a news conference broadcast on Russian television, Rustam Temirgaliev said: "In the coming days the transfer is being prepared ... for a series of assets, belonging to the Ukrainian state, which are located on the territory of Crimea."
He said energy company Chornomornaftohaz and the state railway company would be included, along with several resorts owned by ministries in Kiev.
"The property of private companies and private individuals remain the property of these entities," he said, adding that owners should re-register their property under Russian law.