Elon Musk says SpaceX can’t fund Starlink in Ukraine ‘indefinitely’

Elon Musk has said his company SpaceX cannot fund Starlink service in Ukraine “indefinitely”.

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Elon Musk said on Friday that SpaceX could not continue to fund Starlink terminals in Ukraine “indefinitely” after a report suggested his space exploration company asked the Pentagon to cover the costs.

Starlink internet terminals donated by SpaceX were crucial in keeping the Ukrainian military online during the war against Russia, even with the communications infrastructure destroyed.

Last week, Musk tweeted that the operation had cost SpaceX $80 million so far and would exceed $100 million by the end of the year.

On Friday, the billionaire, who is also CEO of You’re heresaid SpaceX could not “indefinitely” fund the existing system and send several thousand additional data-intensive terminals.

It follows a CNN report that SpaceX has told the US government it can no longer fund Starlink services in Ukraine. The report cites documents obtained from the Pentagon and says SpaceX is instead asking the US government to pay for the terminals.

SpaceX’s letter to the Pentagon claimed Ukraine’s use of Starlink could cost nearly $400 million over the next 12 months, according to the CNN report.

In a separate tweet on Friday, Musk appeared to confirm that SpaceX was leaving Ukraine in some form, responding to a post on Twitter referencing the Ukrainian ambassador telling Musk earlier this month to “f—off ”.

“We’re just following his recommendation,” Musk replied.

The SpaceX founder drew the ire of Ukrainian politicians when he posted a Twitter poll gauging support for what he claimed was a likely outcome of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

A SpaceX spokesperson was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

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