Russia now faces its first major imports of grain in 11 years as a result of the heavy damage on crops inflicted by the massive fires this summer, the newspaper Vedomosti reported Thursday.

The newspaper cited agriculture industry experts in its report, which said that above all the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan was expected to be the chief grain supplier.

Russia's grain needs are 76 million tons annually. Last year the huge country harvested 97 million tons and exported some 20 million tons.

But after the massive fire damage, projections for this year are for a harvest of something over 60 million tons. On August 15, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered a stop on exports, with the ban to stay in effect through December 31.

By official accounts, Russia's farm sector has so far harvested some 40 million tons of grain. The country is believed to have emergency reserves of over 20 million tons.

But, as the Moscow Times newspaper reported, it is expected now that Russia will have to import grains for its beer industry.