Elon Musk has denied speaking with Vladimir Putin before launching a Twitter poll with his ideas for ending Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Mr Musk, according to Ian Bremmer, the head of the Eurasia Group political risk consultancy, personally told him about the conversation with Mr Putin.
Mr Musk, however, has now refuted this.
“I’ve only spoken with Putin once, about 18 months ago. The topic at hand was space “Mr. Musk posted a tweet.
Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked his 107.7 million followers to vote on ways to end the Ukraine conflict.
One of the suggestions was to hold elections in parts of Ukraine occupied by Russia, which the Kremlin claims it has annexed. Moscow appreciated his remarks.
“Russia leaves if that is the will of the people,” the multibillionaire said.
Following so-called referendums denounced as fraudulent by Kyiv and its Western allies, President Putin has already declared four Ukrainian regions to be part of RussiaNone of the four regions are entirely under Russian control.
Mr Musk also suggested that the world “formally” recognize Crimea, which Moscow illegally annexed in 2014.
Mr Bremmer wrote in a newsletter that Mr Musk told him that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “willing to negotiate,” but only if Crimea remained under Russian control, Ukraine accepted a form of permanent neutrality, and Kyiv recognized Russia’s annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.
Mr Bremmer said the SpaceX CEO told him that Mr Putin said these goals would be met “no matter what” and that a nuclear strike was possible if Ukraine invaded Crimea.
Mr Musk, however, has since denied the reports.
Mr. Musk’s initial poll sparked widespread outrage.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that those proposing that Ukraine abandon its people and land “must stop using the word ‘peace’ as a euphemism for ‘letting Russians murder and rape thousands more innocent Ukrainians and grab more land.”
Mr Musk’s tweet was described as “moral idiocy, repetition of Kremlin propaganda, a betrayal of Ukrainian courage and sacrifice” by Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.
Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, praised Mr Musk’s suggestions, saying, “It is very positive that someone like Elon Musk is looking for a peaceful way out of this situation.”
After sending a number of his Starlink internet terminals to Ukraine early in the war, the billionaire gained widespread popularity. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later invited him to visit.
But his recent tweets have strained their relationship, with Mr Zelensky criticizing his Twitter polls last week.
Private citizens in the United States are prohibited by federal law from conducting foreign affairs without the permission or involvement of the United States government.
President John Adams signed the Logan Act into law in 1799, but no one has ever been prosecuted under it.