Ukrainian energy firm hires Hunter Biden as lawyer

Written by Associated Press | Washington | Updated: Jun 8 2014, 10:25am hrs
Vice President Joe Biden's visit today to support Ukraine's fragile democracy came soon after his youngest son was hired by a private Ukrainian company that promotes energy independence from Moscow.

Yet that company leases natural gas fields in the breakaway Russian-backed state of Crimea and is owned by a former government minister with ties to Ukraine's ousted pro-Russian president.

The hiring of Hunter Biden, 44, by Burisma Holdings Limited in April was approved by the company's owner, a former senior minister and political ally of Viktor Yanukovych, the exiled Ukrainian president.

Yanukovych fled to Russia in February after protests erupted over his efforts to establish closer economic ties with Moscow.

Hunter Biden's employment means he will be working as a director and top lawyer for a Ukrainian energy company during the period when his father and others in the Obama administration attempt to influence the policies of Ukraine's new government, especially on energy issues.

There's no indication that Hunter Biden, his father or Burisma are crossing any legal or ethical lines, although ethics experts appear divided over the implications of Hunter Biden's new job.