Can you say “conflict of interest”? That’s what it’s likely to seem like to critics of the move by Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, to hire Robert Biden. Robert Hunter Biden, is the the son of “that Biden” – the Vice President of the United States of America. He has just been added on to the Ukrainian gas provider as a new director by the Board of Directors.
According to Burisma Holdings, the son of the Vice President of the United States will oversee the company’s legal unit and “will provide support for the Company among international organizations.”
In their press release on the new hire, the company lauds Biden’s credentials, saying the following:
Robert Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations. On his new appointment, he commented: “Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the field of natural gas means that it 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.”
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings, Mr. Alan Apter, noted: “The company’s strategy is aimed at the strongest concentration of professional staff and the introduction of best corporate practices, and we’re delighted that Mr. Biden is joining us to help us achieve these goals.”
R. Hunter Biden is a counsel to Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, a national law firm based in New York, USA, which served in cases including “Bush vs. Gore”, and “U.S. vs. Microsoft”. He is one of the co-founders and a managing partner of the investment advisory company Rosemont Seneca Partners, as well as chairman of the board of Rosemont Seneca Advisors. He is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Masters Program in the School of Foreign Service.
Mr. Biden has experience in public service and foreign policy. He is a director for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Center for National Policy, and the Chairman’s Advisory Board for the National Democratic Institute. Having served as a Senior Vice President at MBNA bank, former U.S. President Bill Clinton appointed him an Executive Director of E-Commerce Policy Coordination under Secretary of Commerce William Daley. Mr. Biden served as Honorary Co-Chair of the 2008 Obama-Biden Inaugural Committee.
Mr. Biden is a member of the bar in the State of Connecticut, and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Court of Federal Claims. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
R. Hunter Biden is also a well-known public figure. He is chairman of the Board of the World Food Programme U.S.A., together with the world’s largest humanitarian organization, the United Nations World Food Programme. In this capacity he offers assistance to the poor in developing countries, fighting hunger and poverty, and helping to provide food and education to 300 million malnourished children around the world.
The Burisma holding company owns several Ukrainian oil and gas companies. They also hold assets in the Dnepr-Donetsk, the Carpathian and the Azov-Kuvan basins. In 2013 alone, they produced 11,600 barrels of oil equivalent and they have plans to beef up production by approximately 35 percent this year.
Late last month, Vice President Biden paid a visit to the Ukraine. In the course of his trip, Vice President Biden announced a U.S. aid package for Ukraine which he said would focus on “energy and the economy.” This incentive went hand-in-hand with urgings to reduce dependence on Russian oil suppliers.
Now, with that in mind, do you think the U.S. position on the Ukraine crisis is coincidental? Or might there be corporate interests involved, beyond what the mainstream media is highlighting?