Elon Musk said his company SpaceX cannot fund Ukraine’s Starlink service “indefinitely.”
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Elon Musk said Friday that SpaceX cannot continue funding the Starlink terminal in Ukraine “indefinitely” after reports that his space exploration company had asked the Pentagon to pay.
Starlink internet terminals donated by SpaceX are critical to keeping Ukrainian troops online during the war with Russia, even as communications infrastructure is disrupted.
Last week, Musk tweeted that the SpaceX operation has cost $80 million so far and will exceed $100 million by the end of the year.
On Friday, the billionaire was also Teslasaid SpaceX cannot “indefinitely” fund existing systems and send thousands of terminals with high data usage.
CNN previously reported that SpaceX told the U.S. government that it could no longer fund Ukraine’s Starlink service. The report, citing documents obtained from the Pentagon, said SpaceX asked the U.S. government to pay for the terminal.
SpaceX’s letter to the Pentagon said Ukraine’s use of Starlink could cost close to $400 million over the next 12 months, according to CNN.
In another tweet on Friday, Musk appeared to confirm that SpaceX was leaving Ukraine in some form, replying to a Twitter post that mentioned the Ukrainian ambassador told Musk to “get out” earlier this month.
“We just followed his advice,” Musk replied.
The SpaceX founder drew ire from Ukrainian politicians when he tweeted a poll to gauge support for what he claimed was a possible outcome of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
A spokesman for SpaceX had no immediate comment when contacted by CNBC.