DealBook Summit: World Leaders, Business Moguls, and Crypto’s Fallen Stars


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In an interview at The New York Times’ DealBook summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rebuked Elon Musk’s peace proposals, which include ceding territories to Russia.CreditCredit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited Elon Musk to visit Ukraine on Wednesday to see the devastation Russian troops have wrought in the country, saying such a visit could help the billionaire understand the Happening. He also said he did not think Russian President Vladimir Putin would immediately use nuclear weapons as the war entered a new phase of winter fighting.

gentlemen. Zelensky’s comments, published via a video link from the New York Times DealBook summit, were an implicit rebuke of Mr. Trump. Musk, the entrepreneur, proposed a peace plan for Ukraine last month that would include ceding the territory to Russia.

“If you want to see what Russia is doing here, come to Ukraine and you will see it with your own eyes,” he said. Zelensky said. “Afterwards, you will tell us how this war ends, who started it, and when it will end.”

SpaceX, sir. Musk owns and finances the operation of Ukraine’s Starlink internet service, which has become a digital lifeline for soldiers and civilians amid Russian attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure.

gentlemen. In October, Musk walked back his threat to withdraw funding for Ukrainian services. “To hell with it,” he tweeted. He added that “while Starlink is still losing money” and “other companies are getting billions” in taxes, “we will continue to fund” the Ukrainian service.

gentlemen. Musk’s wealth has given him a prominent voice in geopolitics, and the Kremlin has welcomed his proposal. gentlemen. Zelensky tweeted out a poll asking “Which Elon Musk do you prefer: pro-Ukraine, or pro-Russia?” Mr. Musk later said in a tweet that he supported Ukraine.

During the interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin of The Times, the video link was cut and when it was restored, Mr. Sorkin joked, Mr. Musk may have cut the connection somehow.

“I hear you,” said Mr. Zelensky said. “Most importantly, Mr. Musk wants to hear from us.”

gentlemen. Mr Zelensky said the risk. Putin’s use of nuclear weapons is not his greatest fear, nor should it be the West’s greatest fear.

“I don’t think he’s going to use nuclear weapons,” Mr Trump said. Zelensky said. “That’s my opinion.”

Instead, Western democracies should be most concerned about Putin’s expansionist military ambitions, he said. If his army succeeds in conquering parts of Ukraine, other neighboring democracies could be next, he said.

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