“I have spoken to Putin only once and that was about 18 months ago. The subject matter was space,” the Tesla and SpaceX leader, who is the richest person in the world, tweeted when asked if the alleged conversation about Ukraine really happened.
The rumored conversation between Musk and Putin was first reported in a newsletter from Ian Bremmer, who founded the prominent political risk consultancy firm Eurasia Group. Bremmer wrote that Musk told him Putin was “prepared to negotiate” about the conflict in Ukraine so long as certain terms were meant: that Crimea would remain under Russian control, Ukraine would enter into a permanent neutrality agreement, and that it would accept Russia’s annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in eastern Ukraine.
Bremmer didn’t back down from his report after Musk contradicted him, tweeting: “elon musk told me he had spoken with putin and the kremlin directly about ukraine. he also told me what the kremlin’s red lines were.”
In two subsequent tweets, Bremmer wrote: “i have been writing my weekly newsletter on geopolitics for 24 yrs. i write honestly without fear or favor and this week’s update was no different,” and “i’ve long admired musk as a unique and world-changing entrepreneur, which i’ve said publicly. he’s not a geopolitics expert.”
Last week, Musk tweeted out his proposals for ending the war in Ukraine ― and they were very similar to what Brenner said Musk told him Putin wanted.
Ukrainian leaders were not taken with Musk’s ideas. The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany tweeted at Musk to “fuck off,” and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted a poll on Twitter asking his followers whether they preferred Musk as a Ukraine supporter or Russia supporter.