Elon Musk denies reports he spoke to Putin before tweeting Russia-Ukraine ‘peace’ plan – National

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he didn’t speak directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin before tweeting a Twitter poll with a much-criticized proposal for a « peace » plan for Russia and Israel. Ukraine, following a report by Eurasia Group Chairman Ian Bremmer that he made then.

Musk’s poll last week suggested Crimea, which Moscow illegally annexed in 2014, be formally handed over to Russia and four other annexed regions – representing 15% of Ukraine’s landmass – re-vote on the opportunity to join Russia under the supervision of the United Nations. .

He also proposed that Ukraine remain neutral, abandoning its candidacy for NATO, and that Crimea’s water supply be guaranteed.

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In a newsletter sent to Eurasia Group subscribers, which was obtained by Global News after it was first reported by Vice News, Bremmer detailed a conversation he said he had recently with Musk.

However, in a tweet responding to Vice News’ report on Tuesday, Musk denied the conversation took place.

« I only spoke to Putin once and that was about 18 months ago, » he wrote.

« The subject was space. »

Bremmer later backed up his account in his own series of tweets, saying Musk told him he spoke « directly » with Putin and Ukraine’s Kremlin, and shared what the Kremlin’s « red lines » were in the dispute.

« I’ve been writing my weekly geopolitics bulletin for 24 (sic) years, » Bremmer wrote. « I write honestly without fear or favor and this week’s update was no different. »

Bremmer added while he « long admired » Musk as an entrepreneur, « he’s not a geopolitical expert. »

musk itself replied to Bremmer’s tweet that « no one should trust Bremmer ».

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In his newsletter, Bremmer said he spoke with Musk « two weeks ago. » That’s when Bremmer said Musk told him Putin, « in direct conversation » with the Tesla CEO, said he was « ready to negotiate. »

But, Musk reportedly told Bremmer, Putin’s conditions were threefold: that Crimea be Russian territory with an assured water supply, that Ukraine accept « a formal status of neutrality », and that the annexation of the four regions of Ukraine – the result of what Western leaders have called “mock” referendums – go for it.

Those conditions were precisely what Musk laid out in his October 3 Twitter poll.

« Most likely this is the end result – just a matter of how many people die before this, » Musk tweeted at the time.

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Read more:

Elon Musk’s Twitter poll on war in Ukraine elicits response from Volodymyr Zelenskyy

During the conversation with Bremmer, Musk reportedly indicated that Putin planned to achieve these goals « no matter what » and that the alternative would be « major escalation ».

If Ukraine retakes Crimea, Putin reportedly told Musk, Russia would « retaliate with a nuclear strike » on Ukraine.

« (Musk) said everything had to be done to avoid this outcome, » Bremmer wrote.

Bremmer’s description of the conversation with Musk also raised concerns for the Eurasia Group founder about Putin’s influence over Tesla’s CEO, with Musk apparently sharing concerns about « more direct threats » from the Russian president.

« (Although he) didn’t say anything explicit with me, he did talk about (Russian) cyber capabilities and (Russian) potential to disrupt his satellites, » Bremmer wrote.

Click to play the video:

No indication that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons: White House

No indication that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons: White House – October 4, 2022

Bremmer said his own response was not to take Putin at face value and that he believed there was « no chance » that Ukraine or Western countries would « opt in » to the proposal. Moscow.

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While Bremmer said Musk seemed to consider this a « reasonable response », Musk then shared Putin’s points in the Twitter poll.

Bremmer expressed concerns in his newsletter about what Musk’s tweets, which he said included misinformation about Crimea’s history with Russia, could do to perceptions of the Russian-Ukrainian war in the United States. United States.

The United States, Bremmer explained, is « potentially divided » on the war in a way that the Europeans are not – with the Republican Party wing backing Trump expressing a desire to stop financially supporting Ukraine in this war.

“(Given) that (Elon Musk) now seems more and more likely to buy Twitter, in which case he will reinstate the former president, you will have the same opinions with (Trump) and his entire political base behind him, potentially leading the (United States) to become fundamentally divided on the issue,” Bremmer wrote.

« That strikes me as a serious challenge for the alliance going forward, probably the most important thing that could fragment existing policies. »

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At the time, Musk’s tweeted poll was immediately ridiculed by high-profile Ukrainians, including diplomats and politicians.

In a sarcastic response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted his own Twitter poll asking « Which Elon Musk do you like the most? » “: “The one who supports Ukraine” or “The one who supports Russia”.

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Musk replied to Zelenskyy that « I am still very supportive of Ukraine, but I am convinced that a massive escalation of war will cause great harm to Ukraine and perhaps the world. »

Andrij Melnyk, the outgoing Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, responded to Musk’s original tweet with a very blunt comment.

« F—off is my very diplomatic response to you @elonmusk, » he wrote.

The Kremlin itself stepped in, praising Musk for his proposal but warning that Russia would not reverse its decision to absorb Ukrainian regions.

“It is very positive that a person like Elon Musk is trying to seek a peaceful settlement,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on October 4.

But, « as far as referendums are concerned, people have expressed their opinion and there could be nothing else ».

Bremmer’s report of his conversation with Musk follows a series of brutal Russian strikes launched Monday in Ukraine.

Click to play the video:

Russia launches sweeping attacks on Ukraine

Russia launches sweeping attacks on Ukraine

The strikes targeted downtown Kyiv, among other Ukrainian cities, and killed at least 14 people. Nearly 100 others were injured, according to Ukrainian emergency services.

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The dam destroyed critical infrastructure and residential areas.

Ukraine has been waging a successful counteroffensive against Russia since late August, forcing Moscow to withdraw troops from some areas in humiliating defeat.

Putin claimed the strikes were in response to what he called Ukraine’s « terrorist » action, which included an attack on a bridge to the Moscow-controlled Crimean Peninsula.

Zelenskyy said in a video address that the Russian strikes targeted civilian areas and energy facilities in 10 cities.

« (The Russians) purposely chose such a time and such targets to inflict the most damage, » Zelenskyy said.

Global News has reached out to Elon Musk’s team for comment.

— With files from the Associated Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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