The U.S. State Department on Tuesday warned nationals against visiting Russia because of wildfires raging across the country and an unprecedented heat wave, CNN reported.
The department recommended U.S. citizens to postpone travel to Russia because of acrid smog and numerous flight delays.
A scorching heat wave has gripped much of western Russia since mid-June, sparking wildfires and causing the worst drought in decades. More than 50 people died in the fires.
Moscow and a dozen other cities have been wrapped in a thick layer of smog. Health experts say pollution levels are so high that breathing has become as dangerous as smoking several packs of cigarettes a day.
The smog eased on Tuesday but could return should the wind change.
The record-breaking heat wave in Moscow will continue through mid-August, meteorologists say.
The State Department also authorized nonessential staff at the U.S. embassy in Russia and their dependents to leave the area at the U.S. government's expense.
WASHINGTON, August 11 (RIA Novosti)