Hunter Biden, the second son of US Vice President Joe Biden has become a member of the Board of Directors of oil and gas holding Burisma, which engages in hydrocarbon production in Ukraine. Biden Jr. expressed hope that his knowledge would benefit the Ukrainian people.
The report says that in the company, Hunter will be supervising the legal department and engage in promoting the company in international organizations. His main job will remain with Schiller & Flexner LLP law firm based in New York.
Biden will advise on “transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities” to ”contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.”
Joe Biden’s senior campaign adviser in 2004, financier Devon Archer, a business partner of Hunter Biden’s, also joined the Bursima board claiming it was like ‘Exxon in the old days’.
Biden Jnr’s resume is unsurprisingly sprinkled with Ivy-league dust – he is on the Chairman’s Advisory Board for the National Democratic Institute, a director for the Center for National Policy and the US Global Leadership Coalition comprising 400 American businesses, NGOs, senior national security and foreign policy experts.
Former US President Bill Clinton appointed him an Executive Director of E-Commerce Policy and he was honorary co-chair of the 2008 Obama-Biden Inaugural Committee.
Burisma Holdings was set up in 2002. Its licenses cover Ukraine’s three key hydrocarbon basins, including Dnieper-Donets (in eastern Ukraine), Carpathian (western) and Azov-Kuban (southern Ukraine).
The Biden board news came as Gazprom moved Ukraine to a prepaid gas delivery regime and sent Naftogaz, Ukraine’s gas champion, a $1.66 billion bill for June with a June 2 deadline.
Ukraine currently stores about 9 billion cubic meters of gas, and by the winter needs 18.5bcm. Kiev bought 27.7 billion cubic meters from Gazprom for which it still owes some $3.5 bn in 2013.
Gazprom is demanding Kiev pays $485 per 1,000 cubic meters, raised from $268.50. Kiev rejects the new price as “politically motivated” and refuses to pay its debt.