Elon Musk denies the claim that he spoke to Vladimir Putin about the war in Ukraine



CNN

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has denied the claim that he spoke directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent weeks about The war in Ukraine and a proposed “peace plan” to end the conflict.

Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, US political scientist Ian Bremer, president of political consulting firm Eurasia Group, claimed that Musk told him directly about his conversation with Putin last month.

But in a Tuesday tweet, Musk said he had not spoken with Putin in over a year.

“I only spoke to Putin once and that was about 18 months ago,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “The topic was space.”

Bremer initially declined to comment further on his conversation with Musk – but later reiterated his claim on Twitter.

Elon Musk told me he spoke directly with Putin and the Kremlin about Ukraine. He also told me what are the red lines in the Kremlin,” Bremer wrote.

Musk tweeted a terse response: “Nobody should trust Bremer.”

Eurasia Group is a political risk advisory and research firm that reports on emerging and developed economies. Bremer, who is often cited by the mainstream media, has also been involved in international organizations including the World Economic Forum.

The exchange comes after Musk tweeted a “peace plan between Ukraine and Russia” last week that reflected demands that Kremlin officials have made repeatedly in recent months, including Kyiv’s commitment to military neutrality, recognition that Crimea is officially part of Russia, and ensuring continued supplies of supplies. water. to the peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.

“Ukrainian-Russian peace: re-elections of annexed territories under UN supervision. Russia leaves if this is the will of the people. Crimea is an official part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s fault). Securing the water supply of Crimea. Ukraine does not remain neutral,” Musk tweeted.

“That will likely be the outcome in the end – just a matter of the number of dead before then,” he added. “It should also be noted that the possible, though unlikely, outcome of this conflict is nuclear war.”

The Kremlin welcomed Musk’s tweet – but aroused anger Among the Ukrainian government officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, who indicated in a tweet on Twitter that Musk was expressing support for Russia with his proposal.

“F-off is a very diplomatic response to you,” Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andrei Melnik, wrote in response to Musk’s Twitter thread.

Musk’s lawyer did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

In his series of tweets on Tuesday night, Bremer vigorously defended his claims, saying: “I’ve been writing my weekly newsletter on geopolitics for the past 24 years. [years]. I write honestly without fear or favour, and this week’s update was no different.

“I have always admired Musk as a one-of-a-kind world-changing entrepreneur, which I have said publicly. He is not an expert in geopolitics.”

Multiple sources separately told CNN that in recent weeks, Musk has floated a proposal similar to a “peace plan” in talks with attendees at think tanks and conferences, and hinted at contacting Kremlin officials.

Speaking at “The Weekend” festival in Aspen, Colorado, last month, Musk told attendees, “I would really encourage Ukraine — because Ukraine has had some victories recently — really encouraging them to pursue peace. This is the time to do it. They don’t want to do That, that’s for sure. But this is the time to do it. Because you know that everyone wants to seek peace when they lose but they don’t want to seek peace when they win. Until now.”

According to one of the attendees, Musk added that, “In my view, the nature of this peace will be: to recognize Crimea as Russia, to allow Luhansk and Donetsk to be independent and semi-independent republics, and not to block waters from Crimea as they did. Last time. Russia will accept these terms.”

Based on Musk’s ideas, according to another source he heard, it seemed “obvious” that he was “in contact with the Kremlin.” A third source echoed that, in comments to CNN Musk, who suggested in late September that the Kremlin endorsed his proposals for a peace deal.

making musk Similar suggestions In order to resolve tensions between China and Taiwan, he told the Financial Times that some control of the autonomous island could be handed over to Beijing in a bid for peace.

“My recommendation… is that we define a special administrative region for Taiwan that is reasonably acceptable, and probably won’t make everyone happy,” Musk told the Financial Times in an interview published last week. “And it is possible, and I think it’s probable, in fact, that they would have a more lenient arrangement than Hong Kong.”

In a note to Eurasia Group subscribers on Monday, Bremer expanded on his conversation with Musk, which he said happened about two weeks ago.

“I spoke with Elon two weeks ago, and he told me that Putin (in a direct conversation with him) was ‘ready to negotiate’ (as I heard from SCO members the week before) and set the bare minimum for the Russian language ‘the president will demand an end to the war,'” Bremer wrote.

“There were three components: (1) Crimea is still Russian, (2) Ukraine accepts the official status of neutrality, and (3) recognition of Russia’s annexation of Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson’s control of Crimea’s water supply, and a land bridge.”

Bremer wrote that Musk told him that Putin said he would achieve these goals “no matter what,” and that he was ready to respond with a nuclear strike if Zelensky tried to retake Crimea by force.

“Elon said everything should be done to avoid this outcome,” Bremer wrote.

Musk was served Starlink Systems to Ukraine since the beginning of the war, allowing Kiev to maintain access to the Internet and communications in areas cut off by Russian attacks on infrastructure. But according to Bremer, Musk was dismayed in recent weeks by a Ukrainian request to activate Starlink systems in Crimea — indicating a possible ground operation — and rejected the request.

“Musk also seemed concerned about more direct threats from Putin,” Bremer wrote. “Although he didn’t show anything explicit with me, he did talk about Russian electronic capabilities and Russia’s potential to disable its satellites.”

Asked on Tuesday about Musk’s discussion of Putin, US National Security Council official John Kirby told reporters that Musk was not speaking on behalf of the Biden administration in any conversations he might have with the Russian president.

“I’m going to let Mr. Musk talk about his conversations. He’s clearly not representing the United States government in this conversation. So I think I’ll let him make that distinction,” Kirby said. “And we’ll avoid commenting on the details.”

Kirby reiterated that Russia started its war in Ukraine “in an unjustified and illegal manner” and “could end it today simply by removing its forces”.

In the absence of that, Kirby said, the United States plans to continue supporting Ukraine with the capabilities and tools to achieve success on the battlefield.

Kirby added that Zelensky “will determine for himself the appropriate time to negotiate, and Mr. Zelensky will determine for himself and his country the terms he wishes to consider, and what success looks like.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly mentioned the name of the festival at which Elon Musk told attendees that Ukraine should seek peace. Held at the “The Weekend” festival.

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