Russia's budget deficit for the first three months of the year stood at 607 billion roubles ($6.56 billion), or 0.3% of gross domestic product, supported by a strong year-on-year recovery in energy revenues, the finance ministry said on Monday.

Oil and gas revenues were 79.1% higher than a year ago.

In early 2023, Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine that included an oil price cap and oil embargo squeezed Russia's energy revenues.

Non-oil and gas revenues increased by 43.2%, the ministry said, boosted by higher than planned tax receipts.

Moscow expects budget revenues and expenditure to sharply increase this year. The ministry plans to spend 36.7 trillion roubles over the year, according to its budget plan, and attract 35.1 trillion in revenues as it records a deficit of 0.9% of GDP for 2024.

The deficit for the first two months of the year was 1.47 trillion roubles, or 0.8% of GDP.

And in the first three months of last year, Russia had recorded a deficit of 1.2% of GDP at 2.09 trillion roubles.

The improvement this year is largely down to a 53.5% rise in revenues compared to the year-ago period, compensating for a 20.1% increase in spending.

Russia has been funnelling more resources towards its military and the defence industry since sending its army into Ukraine in February 2022. Spending on defence and security combined is set to reach around 40% of all budget expenditure this year.

($1 = 92.4925 roubles) (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya and Alexander Marrow; editing by Barbara Lewis)