15 Feb 2018 17:00

Russian budget surplus could be 1.5%-2% of GDP in 2018, generated by oil, gas revenues, bound for NWF - Siluanov

SOCHI. Feb 15 (Interfax) - The Russian budget surplus could be 1.5%-2% of GDP in 2018 if current oil prices persist and will be mainly generated by oil and revenues, to be paid into the National Welfare Fund (NWF), Finance Minister Siluanov said.

"It will all depend on oil prices. At current oil prices the budget surplus could be around 2% this year, from 1.5% to 2% of GDP. Through the rise in oil and gas revenues, the entire surplus will be obtained from rising oil and gas revenues, principally, which are being paid into the NWF," he said.

"Technically we have the entire surplus accumulating on accounts, and will be transferred to the NWF at the beginning of next year," the minister said.

He also said that there would also be a non-oil and gas surplus this year. "We need to make an estimate, I am afraid of make a mistake, but of course, there will be one, no doubt. This is because the improving conditions are not only creating oil and gas revenues, but also additional demand for non-oil and gas products. I wouldn't like to say how much now," Siluanov said.

The Finance Ministry is planning to prepare adjustments to this year's budget in spring with changes to its key parameters.

"Yes, we will prepare the adjustments [to the key parameters of this year's budget] at the end of March-early April, as usual. It is already possible to assume more precise macroeconomic indicators which will be the basis for the budget, so we will finalize the budget," the minister said.