Russia's Financial Plans to Be Budgeted Proceeding from Average Price of $20 Per Barrel of Oil

The 2004 and 2005 financial plans of Russia will be budgeted proceeding from an average price of $20 per barrel of oil, Russian Vice Premier and Minister of Finance Aleksei Kudrin told journalists.

According to him, this forecast of world oil prices is indicated in the mid-term plan of the country's development.

When explaining the government's position, Kudrin referred to forecasts of oil prices by various international organisations.

Thus, according to the IMF forecast, in 2004 the price of Brent oil is estimated at $23,5 - 23,9 per barrel, while the US Department of Energy forecasts it at $23,9 per barrel. "These figures are similar to our forecasts," Kudrin said.

However, by introducing the given figures into the state budget, the government reserves the right to channel surplus proceeds to the Russian stabilisation fund. If the price exceeds the figures indicated in the state budget, for instance $22 per barrel, the Russian stabilisation fund will receive 94 bln roubles ($1 - 30 roubles), Kudrin said.

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