Putin Sees Balanced Budget

Russia could balance its federal budget this year, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a government presidium meeting Wednesday.

"According to the data the Finance Ministry is putting out, we will most likely be able to bring the budget deficit down to zero this year," Putin said, noting that the 2011 budget deficit was planned last year at 3.6 percent of GDP.

Putin said revenues and spending were balancing out and would each be approximately 11 trillion rubles ($370 billion) for the year. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the budget might be balanced after the Economic Development Ministry submitted a recent forecast according to which Urals crude should trade at $108 instead of $105 a barrel this year.

(Interfax)

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