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Business News/ News / World/  Did Elon Musk speak to Vladimir Putin personally? Ex-Pentagon official says ‘He was looking for way to…’
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Did Elon Musk speak to Vladimir Putin personally? Ex-Pentagon official says ‘He was looking for way to…’

Elon Musk told Pentagon officials that he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin directly, contrary to his earlier denial.

FILE PHOTO: Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk gets in a Tesla car as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China May 31, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo (REUTERS)Premium
FILE PHOTO: Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk gets in a Tesla car as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China May 31, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo (REUTERS)

Billionaire Elon Musk told Pentagon officials that he spoke directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former top Pentagon official has revealed. Musk had previously denied speaking to Putin after he launched a war on Ukraine more than a year and a half ago.

Also Read: Will Elon Musk's X require a govt ID and selfie to verify users? This what report suggests…

According to a report in The New Yorker, the then Under Secretary of Defence for Policy at the Pentagon, Colin Kahl, revealed that Musk had told him that he had personally spoken to the Russian President.

“My inference was that he was getting nervous that Starlink’s involvement was increasingly seen in Russia as enabling the Ukrainian war effort, and was looking for a way to placate Russian concerns," Kahl told The New Yorker.

The assertion by the ex-Pentagon official is in stark contrast to Musk's statement from last year where he claimed he talked to Putin only once since the start of the war. 

In an October 2022 tweet, Musk wrote, “No, it is not. I have spoken to Putin only once and that was about 18 months ago. The subject matter was space."

US Defence Department responds :

US Defence Department spokesperson Jeff Jurgensen while responding to the latest statement made by Colin Kahl said (as quoted by Bloomberg), “We’re aware of the coverage and interest in this and the department does contract with Starlink for services of this type,"

“As we have also stated, due to the critical nature of these systems – we have not released additional details regarding specific capabilities, contracts or partners - at this time."  

Last year, Musk also proposed a peace plan for the Ukraine war, which was later rejected by the Ukrainian government and welcomed by the Kremlin. Soon after, reports emerged that Ukrainian troops were facing Starlink outages and Musk even threatened to stop funding Ukraine's access to the service, Bloomberg reported.

However, Musk later made it clear in a tweet that Starlink will 'keep funding Ukraine government for free'. He wrote on Twitter/X, “The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free"

 

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Published: 22 Aug 2023, 08:29 AM IST
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