One quarter of Russian crops lost amid heatwave: Medvedev

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One quarter of Russia's crops have been lost amid a record heatwave, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday, warning that many farms were on the verge on bankruptcy.

"We have a very complicated situation because as a whole in the country around a quarter of the grain crops have been burned," Russian news agencies quoted him as saying in the southern town of Taganrog.

"Unfortunately many farms are on the verge of bankruptcy on account of the death of the harvest."

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier this week sliced the leading wheat producer's grain harvest forecast due to a record drought, saying it would produce 10 million tonnes less grain than planned.

Putin last week shocked international markets by announcing that from August 15 Russia would ban exports to keep prices down at home and ensure there was enough feed grain for its cattle herd.

© 2010 AFP

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