MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - Drought has destroyed about 7% of crops in several major Russian grain-growing regions equal to an area of some 3.2 million hectares, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday.
The worst hit areas are the Orenburg Region in the Urals where some 1.12 million hectares have been affected, the Samara Region in the Volga area (591,000 hectares), the Saratov Region in south Russia (495,100 hectares), the Republic of Bashkortostan in the southwest Urals (495,000 hectares), the Republic of Tatarstan in the Volga area (300,000 hectares) and the Volgograd Region in the country's south (200,300 hectares), the ministry said.
The drought is threatening Russia's annual grain harvest expected to reach 85 million metric tons this year, the ministry said.
"By today, an emergency regime will have been introduced in the Samara and Orenburg regions and the Republic of Bashkortostan. Emergency measures are expected to be introduced soon in the Volgograd and Saratov regions and the Republic of Tatarstan," the ministry said.