Tesla Inc. TSLA Elon Musk received a lot of flak for proposing a peace plan for Russia and Ukraine earlier this week.
What Happened: On Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) took to Twitter to give a historical perspective on the Russia-Ukraine war, in a bid to help Musk “understand the facts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
Graham argued that it was dumb to suggest that the invasion should conclude by giving up the Russian part of Ukraine after all the suffering. He also recalled the 1994 Budapest memorandum under which Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapon arsenal in return for assurances of protection of its territorial integrity. The agreement, which was also signed by Russia, included protection of Crimea and Donbas as part of Ukraine, he added.
For peace in Ukraine, everyone should demand that Russia honors the boundaries they agreed to in 1994 and withdraw its forces, the Senator said.
“If Elon Musk and others want the world to continue to be in chaos, then by all means capitulate to Putin and reward his aggression,” Graham said.
Switching gears, the Senator attacked Musk by bringing in something unrelated to the war in Ukraine. He suggested that Congress should revisit the electric vehicle tax credit “boondoggle.” The credit is now solely benefiting EV manufacturers who have raised prices equaling the tax credit, he added, apparently suggesting they have snuffed out the benefits that are due to customers.
He went a step ahead and said this could help save money, which could be used for assisting Ukrainians in defending their homeland.
Musk Hits Back: In reply, Musk tweeted that in any conflict region, the will of those living there should be considered. Most Ukrainians want to be part of Ukraine, although some in the eastern portions having a Russian majority prefer Russia, Musk said.
The billionaire also shared a 2012 electoral map of Ukraine, showing the eastern region had elected pro-Russian candidates.
“Obviously, not everyone who voted for the pro-Russia party wanted to join Russia, but it would also be inaccurate to say that none did,” he added.
Journalist Aaron Rupar asked Musk to Google and see what Russia had done to Ukraine since 2012, in an apparent reference to Russia’s aggression in the region since then, including the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Reacting to the exchanges between Graham and Musk, venture capitalist and entrepreneur David Sacks said the Senator doesn’t like "talked back to" and had, therefore, threatened with the withdrawal of EV tax credit. Since Tesla doesn’t benefit from tax credits anymore, the threat wouldn’t work, he added.
When a Twitter user asked Musk whether he had ever talked to Vladimir Putin in person, the Tesla CEO said they both talked via videoconference the previous year.
“War is the ultimate Supreme Court,” Musk tweeted then.
Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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