Ukraine

Vice President's Son Joins Board of Directors of Ukrainian Gas Company

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in america you can be anything, even a veep's son
via Burisma

The son of a vice president joined the board of directors of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings… not the son of Ukraine's or Russia's vice president, but our very own. From Burisma Holdings' statement:

R. 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."

Burisma provides four paragraphs of bio for Biden, including the tidbit that he's a "well-known public figure" but doesn't include that he's the son of the U.S. vice president. I guess they wouldn't want to make it appear like nepotism played a role, right? Burisma describes itself as "one of Ukraine's largest independent gas producers." BusinessWeek reports it is based in Cyprus. Burisma Holdings says it has fields in all three of Ukraine's gas and oil regions, the Carpathian, Crimean, and Dnieper-Donets basins, the latter two located in eastern Ukraine, currently experiencing bouts of pro-Russian insurgency and even the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

Ukraine, and most of Europe, relies heavily on gas piped in from Russia for its energy needs. According to Bloomberg 30 percent of Europe's gas comes from Russia, and half of that crosses Ukraine. The Russian government's gas company, Gazprom, hiked the price of gas for Ukraine by 81 percent in April, bringing it to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters, the highest price in Europe. Ukraine owes $3.5 billion for Russian fuel delivered last year and in the first four months of 2014. The Ukrainian government has been trying to renegotiate a deal struck with Russia in 2009 that the government it replaced also tried to renegotiate. The Russians say they're not open to negotiation until Ukraine pays its bill. The country received its first $3.2 billion of a $27 billion international aid package meant to pay down its gas debt last week, but Russia's deputy energy minister says Ukraine hasn't used any of it for that purpose yet.

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  1. Next up: Trains that run on Burisma gas.

  2. This is a big fuckin’ deal

  3. BUSH DID IT FIRST

    1. Carter did it before him, but it was Libya and Billy Carter.

  4. It just pisses me off, because we’re supposed to NOT be a crony capitalist country. But we’re validating everything that Putin does by doing the EXACT SAME SHIT.
    Yanukovych and Putin may be MORE oligarchical and more cronyist, but it’s a difference of degree, not of nature.

  5. Dear internet: if you don’t have the photoshop chops to remove a complex background from around someone’s head, take another photo or just leave the photo intact.

    Also, that’s the best photo of this guy on the internet, I hope he kept the high-res original and set it as his profile shot for all of his social networking stuff.

    1. Yeah, if I didn’t know he was VP Biden’s son, I’d let him join my board too, if you know what I mean.

      1. You’d offer him a position on your staff?

        1. See, wingnut gets the point.

  6. At least he’s not a politician.

  7. OT: New CDC study finds dramatic increase in e-cigarette-related calls to poison centers

    Conspicuously absent is any relation to calls relating to other household products.

    1. They compared it to the 16K(!!!) calls from plain cigarettes in the same period.

      I get the feeling people don’t call the poison control center complaining of cancer or emphysema.

      1. But not the 125k calls for vitamins

  8. Boards must be different in Europe. This:

    in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations

    isn’t a board member in the US. Its a consultant or employee. Board members all have the same role in the US: fiduciary responsibility for governance of the entire organization. Their background or expertise might be a good reason to include them, but you don’t task them with specific responsibilities.

    1. Agreed.

      Also, would there be some assumed ownership stake involved?

    2. Not if they are being appointed by Obama to Government Motors.

  9. I’d be happier if this were done by a Republican. If it were, it would pretty much guarantee that we’d stay the hell out of the interfering with Russian-Ukrainian tensions on pain of having the administration brought down on claims of self-dealing.

  10. I smell a 21st century Billy Carter brewing here.

    1. I look forward to the inevitable release of “Hunter’s Hefeweizen”.

  11. The son of a vice president joined the board of directors of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings? not the son of Ukraine’s or Russia’s vice president, but our very own.

    Move along. Nothing to see here.

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