The richest person in the world Elon Musk has denied a report that he spoke directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The report said Musk talked with Putin about the potential for using nuclear weapons, before floating his own peace plan that suggested that Ukraine cede territory to Russia.
The head of the Eurasia Group political risk consultancy, Ian Bremmer, said his source for the report was Musk himself.
“Elon Musk told me he had spoken with Putin and the Kremlin directly about Ukraine,” Ian Bremmer said in a tweet after Musk’s tweeted denial.
“He also told me what the kremlin’s red lines were,” Bremmer said.
“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.”
In this week’s Eurasia Group newsletter, Bremmer wrote Musk told him Putin was “prepared to negotiate,” but only if Crimea remained Russian if Ukraine accepted a form of permanent neutrality, and Ukraine recognized Russia’s annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.
Such conditions would represent near-total Ukrainian capitulation at a time when their forces are on the offensive.
Bremmer said in the newsletter that Musk claimed to have been told by Putin that these goals in the war would be achieved “no matter what.” This included the potential use of nuclear weapons if Ukraine retook parts of Crimea.
Bremmer said Musk told him that “everything needed to be done to avoid that outcome.”
Musk provoked worldwide outrage last week after tweeting a proposal along similar lines, suggesting that Crimea was essentially Russian and that sham referendums in four other occupied Ukrainian provinces should be redone under UN supervision, with Russia leaving only if they lost the vote. Musk suggested Ukraine would pledge long-term neutrality and guarantee the water supply to Crimea.
Experts around the world are calling for the Tesla CEO to stay in his lane. Bremmer is a top expert in geopolitics.