In accordance with Russian accounting standards, the sales proceeds of Russia's nickel producer Norilsk Nickel amounted to RUR106.974bn (about $3.43bn) in 2001. According to the company's press service, the sales profit reached RUR53.227bn (about $1.71bn). As a result of cutting its social expenditures, Norilsk Nickel transferred various social facilities from its balance sheet to Norilsk municipal authorities and wrote off RUR16.320bn (about $523.13m) in non-operating expenses because these fixed assets had not been fully depreciated. The company's net profit before the write-off was RUR32.909bn (about $1.05bn). The consolidated accounts of the company for last year prepared in line with Russian accounting standards cannot be fully comparable with Norilsk Nickel's accounts for 2000 due to changes in the group of its companies. In 2000 the consolidated balance did not include the assets of Norilsk Nickel's enterprises located on the Kola Peninsula, OJSC Norilsk Works and OJSC Institute Gipronikel. Additionally, in accordance with Russian accounting standards, the financial results of the company's foreign subsidiaries including Norimet Ltd. are not subject to consolidated reporting. Norilsk Nickel will release its financial results for 2001 in accordance with international accounting standards in the 3rd quarter of 2002.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated