Intelligence Briefing: Biden family, USA and corruption in Ukraine

22.02.16 11:35
Intelligence Briefing: Biden family, USA and corruption in Ukraine

Previously in American history, a major political figure's relative being hired by a foreign country would have the American media outraged and calling for inquiry. But in the corruption rich environment America is today, truly anything goes when it comes to buying your way to success.

Meet Robert "Hunter" Biden, son of current US Vice President Joe Biden.In the USA, corruption starts early by hiring a relative of a person in power and perpetuating a dynastic family of individuals all dependent upon continued corruption for survival.

Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, after attending law school Hunter Biden became a senior VP at MBNA, a financial company, in the mid-1990s. In 1998 he was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a director of e-commerce policy issues in the U.S. Department of Commerce, and from 2001 to 2008 he was a partner at Oldaker, Biden, and Belair, LLP in Washington, D.C.

Nominated by President George W. Bush to the Amtrak board of directors in 2006, Biden was unanimously confirmed as the board's only Democrat proving even further that corruption in America cuts across all political parties. He served as the Amtrak board's vice-chair until 2009.Elected chairman of World Food Program USA in 2012, by that time Biden was already traveling on behalf of the organization and advocating their programs in the media.

In 2013 he joined the US Navy and was appointed an Officer; he served for only two months before being discharged after testing positive for illegal cocaine addiction. Next stop for Biden's son after a failed Navy career and drug abuse was Burisma, a private oil and gas company in Ukraine which appointed Hunter Biden, the youngest son of US Vice President Joe Biden, to its board of directors.


US elite dynasty in Ukraine

The company, founded in 2002, is controlled by a former energy official in the Ukrainian Government. 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". But one wonders who will protect Ukraine from corrupt American officials bribed to lend credibility to risky ventures in a nation legally bankrupt.

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.

Mr Biden and Mr Archer are also managing partners at Rosemont Seneca Partners, a Washington, DC-based investment company. When asked to comment on charges of corruption, Hunter responded, "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."  

An astounding statement, given his employment in and of itself is the very definition of corruption and obfuscation of transparency.

All this could be explained simply as a foreign energy company looking to increase its visibility in the US and spur investment, writes the Federalist's Mollie Hemingway. State-controlled companies currently account for 90% of Ukraine's gas production, but this year Burisma became the nation's largest private producer.Hemingway adds, however, that there may be another, less savoury possibility:The most disturbing explanation is that the company is attempting to curry favour with the US government by enlisting the services of the close family friend and campaign bundler of the secretary of state and the son of the vice president.

After all, Archer notes on one of his company's web pages that his firm's "relationship network creates opportunities for our portfolio companies which then compound to greater outcomes for all parties".

So we took a closer look at Burisma and found Burisma Holdings is an exploration and production company operating in the Ukrainian oil and gas market since 2002. The head office is in Limassol, Cyprus a rather strange place for a "transparent" corporation to be headquartered. Burisma Holdings is organised into three major business groupings: Burisma Ukraine, Burisma Eurasia, and Burisma Geothermal.

But for now let's stay on the Ukraine.The company holds 20 licenses for hydrocarbon production in all main oil and gas basins of Ukraine, including Dnieper-Donets and Carpathian. The fields are located in close proximity to major gas pipelines and are fully connected to them. 87% of EBITDA is generated in the Dnieper-Donets basin. 91% of Burisma Holdings' production volumes comes from the Dnieper-Donets basin, which contains 82% of the total natural gas reserves in Ukraine.

The company has a 30% market share among independent domestic oil and gas producers. Burisma, was owned by Mykola Zlochevskyi, who surprise, surprise was originally wanted on corruption charges listed in a Kiev post article. Recently Burisma has since been laundered through numerous offshore holdings into now being under oligarch Igor Kolomoisky's control, who is widely accused from numerous warcrimes by his private army in Donbass.

At the end of the day it becomes obvious that once again, greed unites both American corrupt politicians, their families and Ukrainian oligarchs into a degenerate web of corruption only a Hollywood screenwriter could dream up.

DONi News Agency, David "Dave" Simpson, former CIA agent


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