Joe Biden has been the White House’s go-to guy during the Ukraine crisis, touring former Soviet republics and reassuring their concerned leaders. And now, he’s not the only Biden involved in the region.
The vice president’s youngest son, Hunter Biden, has been appointed head of legal affairs at Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, The Moscow Times reported Tuesday. Hunter described his new role in a statement on the company’s website:
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.
The new gig joins several others on Hunter’s extensive resume. He currently serves as as managing partner at the Washington-based investment advisory company Rosemont Seneca Partners and counsel at the New York City-based law firm Boies Schiller Flexner. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Foreign Service graduate program.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Burisma was founded in 2006 and “engages in oil-well drilling, production of liquefied natural gas, and undertaking geological studies.” It is based in Cyprus. It owns several oil and gas companies in Ukraine, including in the southeastern city of Dnepropetrovsk.
Burisma hired another American — and another managing partner of Rosemont Seneca Partners — just last month. Devon Archer joined the company’s board of directors to “focus on the interaction with current investors, as well as involving new investors from the United States,” according to an April 22 press release from the company. Archer served as a senior adviser to John Kerry during his 2004 presidential campaign.
“Today Burisma Holdings reminds me of Exxon Mobil in its wake,” Archer said in a recent interview posted on the company’s website. “It has all the chances to be one of the biggest privately owned oil companies in the world.”
Archer’s work focuses heavily on energy independence for Ukraine, a topic that has received much attention in recent months. Ukraine is dependent on Russia for energy exports, and Moscow has pulled discount agreements during its ongoing standoff with Kiev. The addition of Hunter to the company masthead suggests Burisma is turning to U.S. talent — and money and name recognition — for protection against Russia. It also jibes with the Obama administration message that his father has been tasked with spreading.
The vice president’s office released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying that the elder Biden “does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company.”
It’s unclear whether the entry of another Biden into the fray was meant to send a message to Moscow. But Russian President Vladimir Putin, eternally leery of American hands in eastern European business, is bound to notice.
What We're Following See More »
A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."
"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."
"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.