Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised Elon Musk on Saturday for making good on his promise to deliver free Starlink satellite internet service to his country, but there is one thing the billionaire won’t do for Zelenskyy — deactivate Teslas in Russia.
Musk is being urged by a group of his Twitter followers to deactivate all Teslas in Russia, with one such person calling that move a sort of “tech embargo” on Russia, which began its attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24.
“Dear Elon Musk, can you deactivate all Teslas in Russia, please?” tweeted one Twitter user.
“@elonmusk maybe it’s time to disable all Teslas in Russia and Belarus?” tweeted another user.
Although Musk hasn’t responded to those inquiries yet, he has called for more oil and gas output, while also acknowledging it would affect Tesla. The tweet has been retweeted over 75,000 times.
“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately,” Musk tweeted. “Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.” He added, “Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.”
The Tesla request has gone unanswered at the moment. Musk, however, provided Ukrainians with internet access via his Starlink satellite service since it has been disrupted across the country. Next week, another batch of Starlink systems will be accessible to destroyed Ukrainian cities.
“Talked to @elonmusk. I’m grateful to him for supporting Ukraine with words and deeds. Next week we will receive another batch of Starlink systems for destroyed cities,” Zelensky tweeted on Saturday. “Discussed possible space projects ?. But I’ll talk about this after the war.”
Last week, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov pleaded with Musk for help in connecting the country to SpaceX’s satellite-based internet network. “@elonmusk while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand,” Fedorov tweeted.
Musk responded, “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”