And yet... it was 5 billion US dollars that fomented the coup. It was F the EU Nuland that handpicked Yats. It NATO affilliated/US/banking interests that groomed Yats. Blame Russia? Absurd
Crony Capitalism- In a nutshell collusion/favouritism between business and state. - Check!
Nepotism- favoritism granted in politics or business on the basis of family relationships. - Check!
Vice President Joe Biden's son and a close friend of Secretary of State John Kerry's stepson have joined the board of a Ukrainian gas producer controlled by a former top security and energy official for deposed President Viktor Yanukovych.Joe Biden's son and a close friend of John Kerry's stepson- Crony capitalism & nepotism- Check!
The move has attracted attention given Messrs. Biden's and Kerry's public roles in diplomacy toward Ukraine, where the U.S. expressed support for pro-Western demonstrators who toppled Mr. Yanukovych's Kremlin-backed government in February. The uprising provoked a pro-Russia backlash that has plunged the post-Soviet republic into conflict and brought it to the brink of civil war.
Hunter Biden, a lawyer by training and the younger of the vice president's two sons, joined the board of directors of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma Holdings Ltd. this month and took on responsibility for the company's legal unit, according to a statement issued by the closely held gas producer.
His appointment came a few weeks after Devon Archer--college roommate of the secretary of state's stepson, H.J. Heinz Co. ketchup heir Christopher Heinz--joined the board to help the gas firm attract U.S. investors, improve its corporate governance and expand its operations. A State Department spokesman declined to comment.
"The fact that I joined the board of directors is largely based on the company's will to grow," Mr. Archer said in an interview with Ukrainian media published on Burisma's website. "Last year alone witnessed a lot of transformations." He vowed to make the company more transparent.So Mr Biden and Mr Archer are both affiliated with Rosemont Capital a private equity firm co founded by the two men! Wow, what a coincidence.
Mr. Biden, 44 years old, and Mr. Archer, 39, work for Rosemont Seneca Partners, a U.S. investment company. It is affiliated with Rosemont Capital, a private-equity firm Mr. Archer co-founded with Mr. Heinz.
The White House press secretary and the vice president's office described Hunter Biden's activities as those of a private citizen, bearing no endorsement of the U.S. government.
"Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer," said Kendra Barkoff, a spokeswoman for Joe Biden's office. "The vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company."
Do you believe that nonsense? I don't.
What about this Burisma Holdings?
The board appointments come amid a broader push at Burisma to step up standards and investment. Alan Apter, an American investment banker who has worked in the former Soviet Union, joined Burisma as chairman of the board last year and received a mandate to improve the company's corporate governance and attract foreign capital. He said he met Mr. Archer, a longtime financier and entrepreneur, through mutual friends and invited him and later Mr. Biden to join the board.Mutual friends?
"This is totally based on merit," Mr. Apter said. He said none of the independent directors holds a stake in the company. He said they would receive a salary for independent directorship commensurate with world-class experience but declined to name the sum.Based on merit? People you met through mutual friends? Sure.
Burisma is one of a handful of privately owned gas companies that together account for a little more than 10% of Ukraine's domestic production. The rest of the production comes from gas companies fully or partially owned by the Ukrainian state. Burisma's biggest subsidiary, Esko Pivnich, pumps gas from the Poltava region east of Kiev.I sense a fire sale....
The Ukrainian company sells its gas domestically. It is poised to benefit from the rising gas prices the country is likely to see in the future, now that Russia has removed a discount on gas deliveries for Ukraine in response to what it sees as the rise of anti-Kremlin authorities in Kiev.
Ukrainian regulatory authorities cap gas prices for domestic industrial customers. The cap averaged about $425 per thousand cubic meters of gas last year. Though Burisma doesn't reveal financial figures, calculations suggest the company's production last year would have commanded more than $191 million in revenue on the domestic market at those rates.
Mr. Apter said Burisma's expansion could help reduce Ukraine's energy dependence and thereby help ease its political problems.Burisma has now added deep U.S. political connections to its arsenal.
"The country is quite gas dependent and one would expect, like most countries, there is a desire to be independent of foreign sources, be they in Russia or elsewhere," Mr. Apter said. "It helps the country."
A little more on the crony capitalism nepotism involved in these pickin's-
In addition to being Mr. Heinz's college roommate at Yale, Mr. Archer was an adviser to Mr. Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004 and co-chaired his National Finance Committee. According to his biography, he serves as a trustee of the Heinz Family Office, which manages the family business.
Hunter Biden's business activities have attracted attention before.
His work as a lobbyist when his father was in the U.S. Senate came under scrutiny. Shortly after his father became Barack Obama's running mate in 2008, he gave up his lobbying career and resigned his partnership at a Washington lobbying firm.
When he had been senator, Mr. Obama sought more than $3.4 million in earmarks for clients of Hunter Biden, and succeeded in getting $192,000 for St. Xavier University near Chicago, according to public disclosure records.
At the time, a spokesman for Mr. Obama said Hunter Biden hadn't met with the senator himself but rather with office staff. The spokesman also said it wasn't surprising to see Mr. Obama was fighting for interests and institutions in his home state of Illinois.
In early 2009, The Wall Street Journal reported that Hunter Biden and his uncle had run a fund of funds that was being marketed exclusively by Texas financier R. Allen Stanford's companies. Mr. Stanford later was sentenced to 110 years in prison for masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.
At the time of the Journal article, a lawyer for the Bidens said the fund terminated the relationship and offered to return $2.7 million in investment that companies controlled by Mr. Stanford had given the fund. He said the Bidens had never met Mr. Stanford.
But Biden's son, Hunter and Heinz family very good friend/adviser and co-chair of John Kerry's finance committee, Devon Archer, got these appointments based on merit?