The Battle for the Ukraine
|Bernard Banks||May 16th 2014|
Vice President Biden's son Hunter has emerged in a key position in the Ukranian gas industry now at the center of the conflict in the Ukraine. According to USA Today: Vice President Biden's son Hunter is joining the board of a gas company that operates in Ukraine. Burisma Holdings, Ukraine's largest private gas producer, said Hunter Biden -- an attorney -- will be in charge of its legal unit and help the company with other international organizations. "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 younger Biden said in a statement. The Biden appointment comes as the United States and allied nations try to help Ukraine reduce its dependence on Russian energy by developing other sources. Kendra Barkoff, spokesperson for Vice President Biden, said that "Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer. The Vice President does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company."
It did not take long for the Russian media to react. Time reported: The news that Vice President Joe Bidenâ€™s son Hunter had taken a job with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma has been met in Russia with malicious glee. â€œAhaha,â€ tweeted Member of Parliament Alexander Sidyakin, reacting to the White House statement that there was no conflict of interest after the news of Hunter Bidenâ€™s new role was made public on Tuesday. â€œJoe Biden is a good dad â€“ took the trouble of going across the ocean to secure a job for his son,â€ the pro-Kremlin website politrussia.ru commented in its Twitter feed, referring to Vice Presidentâ€™s recent trip to Ukraine. Rossiya TV channelâ€™s commentator Andrey Arkhipov said the appointment was â€œin line with Washingtonâ€™s plan to gain control over global energy resources.â€ Dubbing Joe Biden â€œthe curator of the military coup in Ukraineâ€ â€“ a reference to the ousting of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February following months of public protests â€“ Arkhipov ridiculed the idea that no U.S. lobbying was involved in the appointment. Top TV and radio anchor Vladimir Solovyov speculated about the fact that Burisma owned licenses for shale gas deposits in the areas of eastern Ukraine, where armed conflict between government forces and separatist insurgents is now flaring. â€œLet me remind you what the U.S. keeps telling Europe: Reject Russian gas. Weâ€™ll provide as much gas as you need. We have shale gas technology,â€ he said, without developing his conspiracy theory any further. Ukraineâ€™s and Europeâ€™s dependence on Russian gas supplies is a major factor in the Ukrainian geopolitical equation.
The BBC is a Secxtion called "What in the World" published this: The move has raised some eyebrows in the US, given the Obama administration's attempts to manage the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. "Joe Biden has been the White House's go-to guy during the Ukraine crisis, touring former Soviet republics and reassuring their concerned leaders," writes the National Journal's Marina Koren. "And now, he's not the only Biden involved in the region." She says that by appointing Hunter Biden head of its legal affairs unit, "Burisma is turning to US talent - and money and name recognition - for protection against Russia". The younger Mr Biden isn't the only American with political ties to have recently joined Burisma's board. Devon Archer, a former senior advisor to current Secretary of State John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign and a college roommate of Mr Kerry's stepson HJ Heinz, signed on in April.