Vice President Joe Biden's youngest son Hunter Biden has joined the board of directors of Ukraine's largest oil company at a time that the U.S. is urging Ukraine to develop energy independence from Russia and just days after the vice president visited Ukraine.
The vice president's office and the White House rejected any suggestion that there was a conflict of interest.
"Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer," Vice President Biden's spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff told ABC News. "The vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company."
White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family are obviously private citizens and where they work … does not reflect an endorsement by the administration or by the vice president or president."
According to a press release from the oil company, Burisma Holdings, Biden will help the company manage its relationships with "international organizations," in addition to overseeing the company's legal unit.
"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," Hunter Biden said in a statement.
"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," he said.
Biden, a graduate of Yale Law School, is a counsel to the New York-based law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.