Russia may start building up Reserve Fund in second-half of 2017 - Finance Minister

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov speaks during a session of the Gaidar Forum 2017 "Russia and the World: Setting Priorities" in Moscow, Russia, January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia may start building up its Reserve Fund in the second half of 2017, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Saturday.

He added that if oil prices average $50 per barrel and rouble rate remains at current levels, the budget could get additional 1 trillion roubles (£13.5 billion) in oil and gas revenues, resulting in a budget deficit of around 2 percent of gross domestic product in 2017.

Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya and Polina Nikolskaya; writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Toby Chopra