MOSCOW, April 25 (UPI) -- The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade said Friday it was reviewing options to build ships for liquefied natural gas transport at Crimean ports.
The government said a number of shipbuilding companies in Crimea and Sevastopol are either idled or working at below capacity.
"One of the options for filling the bag orders of the shipbuilding yards is being developed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and it is the possibility of building LNG carriers for shipping liquefied natural gas from the Russian arctic oil fields," the ministry said.
A former Soviet republic, Ukraine has tilted toward the European Union following a November uprising. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to annex Crimea, a peninsula of Ukraine, and geopolitical and military tensions continue to escalate.
Crimean officials have said Russian energy company Gazprom aims to tap into the more than 50 billion cubic feet of gas available in the peninsula.
In early April, Putin said the manufacturing and industrial sectors in Crimea were underdeveloped and in need of modernization and additional investments.