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Biofuel in the CIS

     Over the last few years bioenergetics has been used as a political weapon, involving the interests of quite a few hundred millions of people worldwide striving to satisfy their energy and fuel consumption needs. On the other side, soaring prices for basic food products in both world and domestic markets hurt exports of wheat, rice, and vegetable oils by the main producing countries. As a result, some countries have to face progressive shortages in food products and serious socio-economic problems.
     At present, the CIS are seen by many as active participants in the bioenergetics programmes, covering various projects on biofuel production. But strictly speaking, only Kazakhstan and Belarus have been truly crossing over a threshold in terms of biofuel production in the CIS community. Russia possesses a substantial amount of biomass for biofuel production which is its advantage. Ukraine covers 10-12% of its domestic needs, but at the same time the country represents a strong potential biofuel feedstock supplier to the European market.
     Biofuel market trends in the CIS are nowhere near certain due to a lack of integrated development strategy. The producers are unable to project profits, while for the consumers, the advantages of biofuel are still quite ambiguous. The appreciation of biofuel as a panacea for an energy and ecological crisis is still to come.

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