Musk proposes a new opening to Starlink funding in Ukraine after an earlier threat

Elon Musk indicated Saturday that he may continue to fund Starlink, the satellite service that provides internet to Ukraine and its military, raising the possibility that he may back off from his earlier threat to stop paying for the emergency network.

Just a day earlier, Musk said it was “unreasonable” to suggest that his company, SpaceX, would expand, support and fund the data-intensive system “indefinitely”. His comment drew widespread condemnation, though Musk continued to bring the issue backstage until the Pentagon paid for it.

Back on Twitter on Saturday, Musk provided no update about those conversations with the Defense Department — and neither the tech mogul nor the government responded to requests for comment. But Musk, the world’s richest man, recently opened up a sarcastic remark about keeping Starlink funded anyway.

“The hell… even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions of dollars from taxpayers, we will continue to fund Ukraine for free,” chirp.

When a Silicon Valley investor later responded with the adage “No good deed goes unpunished,” Musk tweeted, “However, we still have to do good deeds.”

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The exchange represents the latest development in a confusing geopolitical saga circulating on Twitter, the very company that Musk hopes to buy again. For Ukraine, the stakes are staggeringly high: the satellite service provided by Starlink is now a primary means of Internet communication in the country, as a result of the ongoing Russian attack on Ukraine’s online infrastructure. Cutting off satellites could cripple the Ukrainian army and give the Kremlin a huge advantage.

Musk, for his part, is increasingly delving into the struggle in public ways. Earlier this month, the billionaire brought up what he described as peace plan Which critics saw as too favorable to Russia, infuriated Ukrainian political leaders, including President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Andrei Melnik, Germany’s ambassador to Germany, later responded to Musk’s suggestion in clearer terms: “F-off is a very diplomatic response to you,” chirp.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said on October 14 that SpaceX has asked the Pentagon to help fund the critical communications network in Ukraine. (Video: Reuters)

With tensions rising, Musk tweeted on Friday his concerns about the pricing of Starlink’s service offering. was previously He said It has cost SpaceX about $80 million so far to send satellite internet to the war-torn country, a sum that could rise to $100 million by the end of the year as the company expands its presence and secures its infrastructure against further Russian incursions.

In doing so, Musk also bounced back—again, Via social media – On Melnyk: “We’re just following his recommendation,” he tweeted.

Behind the scenes, Defense Department officials said they are in active talks with Musk

Musk threatens to cut funding for Starlink Internet, which Ukraine relies on in the war

about system sustainability. Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told reporters that the US government has other options in the event of disruption.

The Biden administration played an unclear role in coordinating the arrangement as documents Previously obtained by The Washington Post We suggest that another part of the government – the US Agency for International Development, or USAID – may have helped pay for some of the Starlink stations scattered across Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Zelensky’s Ukraine adviser said Friday that Starlink “helped us survive the most dangerous moments of the war.” The aide, Mikhailo Podolak, added that Ukraine “will find a solution to keep Starlink working,” although the government expects Starlink “to provide stable communication until the end of negotiations.”

Isabel Khorshodian, Kostiantin Khodov, Dan Lamothe, and Elaine Francis contributed to this report.

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