Gazprom said consolidated profit jumped sixty five percent in 2001 as rising natural gas prices boosted exports to a record at the world's largest producer of the fuel. Its shares rose to a four year high in London. Net income was 100.3 billion rubles ($3.21 billion), or 4.23 rubles a share, up from 60.75 billion rubles, or 2.87 rubles, in 2000, in accounts to Russian accounting standards, the company said. Sales rose by eighteen percent to 588.5 billion rubles. Europe's top gas seller benefited as oil prices more than doubled in the past three years, pushing up prices paid by Ruhrgas, Gaz de France and other Gazprom customers. While Gazprom says an oil slump in the last three months of 2001 will cut exports by twenty percent in 2002, oil has rebounded this year, analysts said. “It's doubtful that Gazprom export earnings will fall by a fifth because the tendency for oil prices is favorable now,” said Valery Nesterov, an analyst at Troika Dialog brokerage.
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The Russian Defence Ministry showed the destruction of two armoured vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The vehicles were destroyed by guided air-launched rockets in the Southern Donetsk direction