Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023
Jake Tapper Questions Secretary of State Blinken on Elon Musk’s Refusal to Provide Starlink Access to Ukrainian Military

During an interview with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper brought up the issue of Elon Musk refusing to provide Starlink access to the Ukrainian military for their operations against Russia.

Tapper highlighted Musk’s recent admission that he blocked Starlink access in Crimea, which disrupted Ukraine’s communications during their attack against the Russian navy in 2022. Ukrainian officials criticized Musk for allowing more civilian casualties from Russia’s invasion, while Musk justified his decision by stating that the attack would have escalated the war, and he didn’t want to be involved in that.

Tapper summarized the situation as Musk sabotaging a military operation by a US ally against an aggressor country that invaded another US ally. He asked Blinken if there should be repercussions for Musk’s actions.

In response, Blinken avoided addressing the specific incident but emphasized the importance of Starlink for communication purposes in Ukraine, particularly for the military. He stated that the US expects the technology to remain fully available to the Ukrainians and acknowledged its vital role in their defense efforts.

Tapper challenged Blinken, pointing out that Musk’s alleged private discussions with senior Russian officials raised concerns about his own diplomatic outreach to Russia. However, Blinken declined to comment on these conversations, opting to focus on Starlink’s significance for Ukraine.

Tapper expressed his view that the US government seemed hesitant to speak out against Musk’s actions due to the perceived importance of Starlink, even though in other circumstances, they might have addressed the matter.

The interview can be watched on CNN.