The average price for Russia's main crude oil export blend, Urals, will be $115 per barrel in 2012, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said on Tuesday, giving Russia a balanced budget despite rising spending.
"We proceed from expectations that oil prices will fall ... so the average oil price this year may be $115," Nabiullina said.
The Russian budget is based on a Urals price of $100 per barrel in 2012, $97 in 2013 and $101 in 2014.
This March Urals oil reached a record level of $122.60 per barrel, Finance Ministry analyst Alexander Sakovich told RIA Novosti on Monday. Last year the average price for the country's core oil export blend stood at $109.35 per barrel.
Oil prices have been rising for several months amid an EU states' boycott of oil supplies from Iran. Oil traders are also concerned about the possibility of a future war with Iran as well as wider political instability in the Middle East, including the crisis in Syria.
Experts consider oil prices at a level of $110 per barrel this year will help President-elect Vladimir Putin to fulfil his pre-election promises, including support of families with many children, an increase in stipends for students to living-wage level and higher wages for academic staff and teachers.