Hunter Biden, the youngest son of Vice President Joe Biden, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Ukraine’s largest private-gas producer.
The company, Burisma Holdings, announced Biden’s appointment on its website Tuesday. Burisma said Biden would be the new head of the company’s legal unit.
The White House shot down any notion of a conflict of interest with Hunter Biden’s appointment. In a statement provided to Business Insider, Joe Biden spokesperson Kendra Barkoff said Hunter’s appointment did not constitute an endorsement by the vice president.
“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,” Barkoff said. “For any additional questions, I refer you to Hunter’s office.”
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, the national law firm for which Hunter Biden serves as a counsel, did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
During the daily White House press briefing on Tuesday, press secretary Jay Carney said where Hunter Biden works “does not reflect an endorsement by the administration, by the president or vice president.”
Hunter Biden’s appointment comes as the U.S. and much of the West has sought to help Ukraine wean off its dependence on Russia for oil and gas supplies. Last month during a trip to Kiev, the vice president pledged U.S. assistance in Ukraine’s pursuit of energy independence from Russia. Ukraine and the West believe energy independence would serve as a major leverage point for Ukraine in its standoff with Russia.
In a statement released by Burisma, Hunter Biden said he believes the company will help strengthen Ukraine’s floundering economy.
“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,” Hunter Biden said in the statement.
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