Who will pay the bill for the Starlink internet network which provides a satellite connection to Ukraine?
According to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, Brussels is considering paying for the service so that it no longer depends on the sole will of Space X owner Elon Musk.
The Lithuanian minister informed Politico assures that the subject was raised by Josep Borrell, the head of diplomacy of the European Union. However, for the moment, no information has leaked concerning the details of such an operation. .
American billionaire Elon Musk announced on Saturday that he would continue to fund the network, returning to his calls the day before for the American government to take over.
“Never mind…even if Starlink still loses money and other companies get billions of taxpayer dollars, we will continue to fund the Ukrainian government,” he said. tweeted the richest man in the world.
On Friday, Elon Musk warned that SpaceX “(could) not continue to fund the existing system indefinitely and send thousands of additional terminals (…). This is not reasonable.”
A bill of 400 million dollars
SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon last month indicating that it could no longer afford the costs of service in Ukraine, CNN reported.
According to the television channel, the company was asking the US Department of Defense to take over funding for the use of Starlink by the Ukrainian government and its military, the cost of which was estimated at $400 million for the 12 months to come.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, SpaceX has delivered thousands of terminals there which provide an Internet connection through a constellation of satellites forming the Starlink network.
Some 25,000 terminals have thus been deployed in the country to date. Elon Musk assures that with the exception of a “small percentage”, all the costs of deploying and maintaining Starlink terminals in Ukraine have been borne by SpaceX.
The Starlink network has helped maintain internet coverage in areas of Ukraine hit by the Russian military. As of June, around 15% of Ukraine’s existing internet infrastructure had been destroyed or damaged, authorities said.
Starlink is also widely used by Ukrainian forces to calculate the trajectory of their missiles and geolocate their targets.