After reports stated that Elon Musk’s space exploration business had requested the Pentagon to pay the expenses of funding Starlink terminals in Ukraine, Musk said on Friday that SpaceX could not do so “indefinitely.”
As communication infrastructure in Ukraine is damaged during the conflict with Russia, the Starlink internet terminals given by SpaceX have proven essential in keeping the Ukrainian armed forces online.
Musk tweeted last week that the operation has cost SpaceX $80 million to far and likely reach $100 million by year’s end.
In a statement released on Friday, the Tesla CEO and billionaire stated SpaceX cannot “indefinitely” support the current system while additionally sending thousands more high-data-use terminals.
According to CNN’s story, this comes after SpaceX informed the U.S. government that it would have to stop funding Starlink services in Ukraine. The story claimed that SpaceX had requested that the United States government foot the bill for the terminals, citing papers acquired from the Pentagon to back up their claims.
According to CNN’s story, SpaceX warned the Pentagon in a letter that Ukraine’s use of Starlink may cost as much as $400 million in the next year.
On Friday, Musk seemed to clarify in another tweet that SpaceX was leaving Ukraine in some capacity after the Ukrainian ambassador told him to “f—- off” earlier this month.
‘We’re simply following his advise,’ Musk said.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk angered Ukrainian officials when he conducted a Twitter poll to determine public opinion on what he said would be the most probable conclusion of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
While CNBC attempted to reach out to SpaceX for comment, a representative was unavailable at the time.