Biden’s Son Joins Board of Gas Company Linked to Ousted Ukrainian President

This article was written by Oilprice.com -- the leading provider of energy news in the world. 

One of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's sons has become a member of the board of a Ukrainian gas company linked to ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Burisma Holdings Ltd. says Hunter Biden, 44, joined its board earlier this month and is now in charge of its legal affairs.

Biden joined Burisma several weeks after Devon Archer joined the board to help recruit investors to the company. Archer, 39, was a college roommate of Christopher Heinz, a stepson of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Former Ukrainian Parliament lawmaker Nikolai Zlochevsky, a member of Yanukovych's Party of Regions, controls Burisma. He also served as Yanukovych's minister of environmental protection and, later, as minister of ecology and natural resources.

In April 2012, Zlochevsky was named deputy secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council. He held that job until the collapse of Yanukovych's government earlier this year. Yanukovych fled to Russia.

Both Biden and Archer are employees of Rosemont Seneca Partners, a U.S. investment company. It is affiliated with Rosemont Capital, a private-equity firm that Archer and Heinz co-founded.

In a statement on the Burisma website, Biden said the gas company "can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine. As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine."

Archer issued a similar statement.

Both Vice President Biden and Kerry have publicly expressed support of Ukrainians who demonstrated for closer ties with Europe and drove Yanukovych and his government, which had sought closer relations with Russia, from power.

Yanukovych's ouster has led to violence between pro-Russia separatist rebels and the country's military.

In the turmoil, gas has become a focus of the tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine gets most of its gas from the Russian government's majority-owned gas company, Gazprom. Kiev accuses the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin of unfairly increasing gas prices to punish Kiev for establishing closer relations with the European Union.

Vice President Biden went to Kiev last month to offer U.S. expertise to help expand Ukraine's domestic gas production.

A State Department spokeswoman had no comment on May 13 about the two men's new positions with Burisma.

A spokeswoman for the vice president, Kendra Barkoff, said the elder Biden "does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company."

At the White House news briefing on May 13, presidential press secretary Jay Carney was asked if the appointment of the vice president's son to Burisma's board was a conflict of interest. He said it was not. "Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family are obviously private citizens, and where they work does not reflect an endorsement by the administration or by the vice president or president," he said.

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Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 3:26 PM, lortep wrote:

    In Tight!

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 3:36 PM, Schmoltke wrote:

    So...

    First, The Biden family made a gas/oil deal with an ousted Ukrainian Pres, Yanukovich under a BRITISH flag of Burisma Co.

    Second, then they have kicked him out of power with US taxpayers money and a CIA/Dept. of State supported coup.

    Third, they have chosen a pro-West Ukrainian gas/oil oligarch as a wanna-be the next Ukrainian President.

    Fourth, Pres. Obama administration doesn't have any moral problems with this kind of activity.

    Nice...:)

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 4:29 PM, westhampnett wrote:

    Bidens' son is clearly the most qualified person in the world for this company position. Ha Ha!

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