Musk denies he talked to Putin ahead of controversial tweet

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is denying claims by Ian Bremmer, president of political risk research firm Eurasia Group, that he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin before posting a controversial tweet implying that Ukraine should not retake more land from Russia than it has lost this year.

Musk had a “direct conversation” with Putin about the war, Bremmer wrote in a newsletter on Monday, and is convinced that the Russian dictator will use nuclear weapons against Ukraine if the smaller country does not back down.

Bremmer, a well-known foreign policy analyst, wrote that he had spoken to Musk two weeks ago and that Musk had told him of the conversation with Putin.

But a short time after a news story in Vice News about Bremmer’s newsletter was published, Musk tweeted a denial of the claims.

“I have spoken to Putin only once and that was about 18 months ago. The subject matter was space,” wrote Musk.

Bremmer said Putin told Musk he would accomplish certain goals “no matter what,” including Russia’s continued possession of Crimea, Ukraine’s acceptance of a formal status of neutrality, and Ukraine’s recognition of Putin’s annexations of Luhansk and Donetsk and control of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

Putin held widely contested referendums in late September to establish support by the residents of eastern regions of Ukraine for Russia’s annexation of the territory.

According to Bremmer, Musk told him that “everything needed to be done to avoid” a nuclear strike on Ukraine, which Putin allegedly said would occur if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invaded Crimea.

The political scientist also accused Musk of disseminating “disinformation” about Ukraine when he said that some eastern regions of Ukraine “have Russian majorities and prefer Russia” and thus might legitimately vote to be annexed by Russia.

Musk added that “most of Ukraine unequivocally wants to be part of Ukraine,” including the areas that Russia invaded.

“I wasn’t planning on writing about this, but now that Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has gone public with his views on Russia/Ukraine, it feels important to write about what’s happening,” wrote Bremmer of the claims in his newsletter.

Tags Elon Musk Ian Bremmer Vladimir Putin
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