Noted political scientist and Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer claimed on Tuesday that Elon Musk had spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin about ways to resolve the Ukraine war not long before he posted a controversial and much-criticized public proposal on how to end the conflict. Musk, however, has denied Bremmer’s claims.
Bremmer’s claims were shared by the political author in a note to his clients, where he alleged that Musk and Putin had a conversation about two weeks ago. According to Bremmer, who also posted his claims on Twitter, Musk had informed him that he had spoken with Putin and the Kremlin about Ukraine. The political scientist added that Musk had told him where the Kremlin’s red lines were.
Bremmer also alleged that Putin had told Musk that Ukraine must (at the very least) accept some conditions, such as recognizing Crimea and Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions as Russian territory and declaring neutrality. Musk, for his part, promptly denied the political scientist’s claims, noting on Twitter that “Nobody should trust Bremmer.”
In a separate Twitter post about an article published on VICE, which reflected Bremmer’s claims, Musk directly stated that he did not speak to Putin about Ukraine. The Tesla CEO added that he spoke to Putin only once about 18 months ago, and they talked about space. Musk’s statements make sense considering that SpaceX is a growing presence in the global space program.
While Bremmer does have the political credentials and experience to back up some audacious claims, the idea of Elon Musk confiding what would have been extremely sensitive information to the political scientist seems a bit unlikely. Bremmer, after all, is an ardent Elon Musk critic, as hinted at by his Twitter posts about the Tesla CEO. In past comments, Bremmer had described Musk as an “as*hat” and in others, he suggested that the CEO’s loyalties lie with Beijing, not with US agencies.
That being said, Musk’s ideas about a peace plan between Ukraine and Russia have been met with widespread criticism, even among loyal Tesla and SpaceX supporters. The Ukrainian government condemned Musk’s idea as well, with President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeting his own survey, which asked if people preferred an Elon Musk that’s on Russia’s or Ukraine’s side. Diplomats such as Andrij Melynk were more direct, telling Musk to “f*ck off.”