AP

Ukraine envoy hopeful about fate of Musk’s satellite network

Oct 15, 2022, 10:41 PM | Updated: Oct 16, 2022, 10:43 am

FILE - Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award i...

FILE - Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award in Berlin on Dec. 1, 2020. Musk suggested in a Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, tweet that his rocket company SpaceX may continue to fund its satellite-based Starlink internet service in Ukraine. But Musk's tone and wording also raised the possibility that the irascible Tesla CEO was just being sarcastic. (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP, File)

(Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Ukrainian diplomat expressed optimism Sunday about securing the money needed for the continued operation of a satellite network funded by billionaire Elon Musk that has provided key battlefield and humanitarian contacts in the war with Russia.

“It’s there, it’s working,” said the envoy, Oksana Markarova. “It will need to be working for a longer time.”

She did not indicate whether Musk had agreed to continue funding his rocket company SpaceX’s Starlink internet service in Ukraine but said the country’s collaboration with the company has been excellent.

“We got the Starlinks in Ukraine very quickly, in some areas for humanitarian support, it’s the only connection that we have,” Markarova told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And it’s very important to continue having it and I’m positive that we will find a solution there.”

On Friday, senior U.S. officials confirmed that Musk had asked the Defense Department to take over funding for the service Starlink provides in Ukraine. Starlink, which provides broadband internet service using more than 2,200 low-orbiting satellites, has provided crucial battlefield communications for Ukrainian military forces since early in the nation’s defense against Russia’s February invasion.

Musk suggested in a tweet Saturday that SpaceX may continue funding Starlink after all, though his tone and wording also raised the possibility that the Tesla CEO was just being sarcastic. It is not clear whether SpaceX has actually established future plans for service in Ukraine.

“The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free,” Musk tweeted Saturday.

Musk also recently has sparred with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after the billionaire suggested that Ukraine cede the strategically important Crimea region to Russia and make other concessions as part of a peace deal, drawing a rebuke from Zelenskyy.

Musk tweeted on Friday that it was costing SpaceX $20 million a month to support Ukraine’s communications needs.

Markarova said Ukraine has “disagreed with Elon Musk on some of his views about Crimea, and we were happy to discuss it with him.” She added that Ukraine is proud “to be one of the fastest growing Starlink countries globally.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

3 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

4 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

6 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

6 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

7 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

7 days ago

Ukraine envoy hopeful about fate of Musk’s satellite network