Musk Denies Talking to Putin Before Posting Poll

He says he's only spoken to Russian president once, and it was about space
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2022 3:34 PM CDT
Musk Denies Talking to Putin Before Posting Poll
Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition in Washington on March 9, 2020.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Elon Musk is denying a report that he spoke to Vladimir Putin before he tweeted his "Ukraine-Russia Peace" proposal last week. Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group political risk consultancy, said in a note to clients Monday that when he spoke to Musk two weeks ago, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO told him he had spoken to the Russian president, and Putin was "prepared to negotiate" if certain conditions were met, Business Insider reports. Those conditions, according to Bremmer, included political neutrality for Ukraine and acknowledgment of Russia's annexation of Crimea plus the four regions Moscow recently claimed to have annexed after widely condemned "referendums": Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.

According to Bremmer, Musk told him that Putin said these goals needed to be met "no matter what" or there would be "major escalation," including a nuclear strike if Ukraine tried to reclaim Crimea. The plan and poll Musk tweeted called for UN supervision of elections in the annexed regions but otherwise echoed the position Bremmer described. Musk's proposal was swiftly rejected by Ukrainian officials, some of whom used strong language. Musk tweeted Tuesday that Bremmer was incorrect, Bloomberg reports. "I have spoken to Putin only once and that was about 18 months ago," Musk said. "The subject matter was space." He added that talking to Putin about the war would be "pointless, as there is currently no overlap between Russian and Ukrainian demands—it’s not even close." (More Elon Musk stories.)

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