Another Biden Has Waded Into the Ukraine Crisis

The vice president’s son has taken a new role in the country’s energy industry.

Vice President Joe Biden and sons Hunter Biden (lef) and Beau Biden.
National Journal
Marina Koren
Add to Briefcase
Marina Koren
May 13, 2014, 9:04 a.m.

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 »
PLANS TO CURB ITS POWER
Pruitt Confirmed As EPA Head
3 days ago
BREAKING
WOULD HAVE REPLACED FLYNN
Harward Turns Down NSC Job
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Ret. Vice Adm. Bob Harward turned down President Donald Trump's offer to be national security adviser Thursday, depriving the administration of a top candidate for a critical foreign policy post days after Trump fired Michael Flynn." Among the potential reasons: his family, his lack of assurances that he could build his own team, and that "the White House seems so chaotic."

Source:
REVERSES OBAMA RULE
House Votes to Let States Block Planned Parenthood Funds
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"The House passed a resolution Thursday re-opening the door for states to block Planned Parenthood from receiving some federal funds. The measure, which passed 230-188, would reverse a last-minute rule from the Obama administration that said conservative states can't block the women's health and abortion provider from receiving family planning dollars under the Title X program."

Source:
FORMER PROSECUTOR
Alexander Acosta to Get Nod for Labor
4 days ago
THE LATEST
12:30 PRESS CONFERENCE
New Labor Secretary Announcement Coming
4 days ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login