A senior Biden administration official handling global energy policy recently held a high-level position at a Ukrainian state-run natural gas firm but resigned citing corruption.
Amos Hochstein, who President Joe Biden appointed to be the State Department’s top adviser for energy security over the summer of 2021, was a member of the energy company Naftogaz’s supervisory board. Hochstein took the position in 2017 after he said government officials persuaded him to accept the offer.
“When fears abounded in late 2017 that Ukraine’s efforts to dismantle corruption were weakening, U.S. and foreign officials encouraged me to accept the (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s) request, and join the Naftogaz board to reinforce, and help protect, the progress that CEO Andriy Kobolyev and his team had made, and continue with additional critical reforms,” Hochstein wrote in an editorial published by the Kyiv Post in October 2020.
Since 2014, the U.S. has led an effort to reduce corruption in Ukraine’s government from within, he wrote. His role at Naftogaz was a part of this effort, Hochstein said.
Most Americans believe President Joe Biden has a conflict of interest in Ukraine due to his family’s shady business dealings, a Convention of States Action/Trafalgar Group survey released this week found.
The survey asked respondents, “Do you believe President Biden–whose family has had business interests in Ukraine–has a conflict of interest in the Russia/Ukraine war?”
A majority, 56.1 percent overall, said “yes,” Biden has a conflict of interest in the war, while one-third said “no.”
Opinions are predictably divided on party lines, as 78.1 percent of Republicans said he has a conflict of interest, compared to 62.3 percent of Democrats who believe that he does not. However, a quarter of Democrats, 25.4 percent, believe he does, as do 64.3 percent of independent voters.
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