Pentagon Appears To Reverse Course On Paying Musk For Starlink In Ukraine, Musk Also Appears To Shift | Eastern North Carolina Now | U.S. officials appear to have reversed course on not paying SpaceX for its Starlink satellites over Ukraine, which have provided the country a military advantage as it battles Russian forces, and now the company’s CEO is suggesting that it does not want to be paid

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Ryan Saavedra.

    U.S. officials appear to have reversed course on not paying SpaceX for its Starlink satellites over Ukraine, which have provided the country a military advantage as it battles Russian forces, and now the company's CEO is suggesting that it does not want to be paid, even though it recently demanded payment.

    CNN reported Thursday that the charitable contributions from SpaceX were likely coming to end after the company warned the Department of Defense in that it needed to start paying tens of millions of dollars per month to keep the terminals up and running.

    The report said that a September letter from SpaceX asked the Pentagon to pay for Ukraine's government to continue using the system which would cost "more than $120 million for the rest of the year and could cost close to $400 million for the next 12 months."

    SpaceX's director of government sales wrote to the Pentagon, "We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time."

    SpaceX CEO Elon Musk backtracked over the weekend on the company demanding payment for its services.

    "The hell with it," Musk said, "even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we'll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free."

    Politico reported Monday that U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation said that the Department of Defense wanted to pay for the satellites to continue operating over Ukraine because the U.S. did not like Musk's unpredictability. Funding for the effort would likely come out of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative which has been used to purchase things needed for the country's war effort.

    European officials are now also getting involved in discussions on funding Starlink as Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told Politico Europe that the ability of Ukraine's military to operate via satellite should not be determined by one "super-powerful" person who could just randomly decide one day to shut off Ukraine's internet access.

    "I figured that it's probably way better to have this as a contractual agreement between, let's say, a coalition of countries that could purchase a service from Mr. Musk, the Starlink service, and provide it to the Ukrainians and keep on providing it to Ukrainians," Landsbergis said.

    Musk responded to the Politico report by appearing to suggest that he did not want to be paid for the satellite's service.

    "SpaceX has already withdrawn its request for funding," Musk said. "To be precise, 25,300 terminals were sent to Ukraine, but, at present, only 10,630 are paying for service."
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