Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he expected oil prices to average around 50 U.S. dollars per barrel next year, Russian news agency TASS reported Friday.
Falling oil prices and Western sanctions have plunged Russia's economy, which is heavily dependent on exports of energy resources, into a recession. The country's gross domestic product contracted by 3.7 percent in 2015.
"Global oil prices will stay around 40 to 50 dollars per barrel in the second half of this year, and the average price will be around 50 dollars in 2017, maybe slightly higher. It depends on many financial factors," Novak said at the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Thursday.
"We understand that oil prices highly depend on the ratio of the dollar against a basket of currencies," he added.
Novak said the decline in prices was offset by the weakening of the ruble.
"Therefore, if we talk about the cost of a ton or a barrel of oil in ruble terms, we see the preservation of approximately the same level before the price drops,