Russia's Minister of Natural Resources, Nikolai Tarasov, has warned that the water level of Lake Baikal has fallen to near its critical level due to prolonged drought, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

Tarasov added that in late April, the water flow through the Angara-Yenisei cascade of hydroelectric power plants was only 450m3/sec, as compared with the expected 650-950m3. He indicated that a dry summer will sharply reduce electricity production at the cascade’s hydro plants.