Russia has backed Elon Musk's 'peace deal' suggestion after the Tesla billionaire faced a huge backlash online for suggesting Ukraine should stay neutral in the face of Vladimir Putin's bloody invasion.
The Kremlin said on Tuesday it was a 'positive step' that Musk was outlining a peace deal, just hours after Kyiv slammed Musk's call for a negotiated settlement to Russia's disastrous seven-month-old conflict with Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also told reporters in a conference call that Moscow had always been open to a negotiated end to the conflict, despite derailing peace talks on several occasions and suggesting unrealistic terms.
Peskov's comments came after Musk claimed the 'biggest bot attack' ruined his poll on a 'solution' to the war. In a post on Twitter, Musk listed a series of suggestions that, in his view, could lead to peace in Ukraine.
He proposed referendums held last month in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine should be re-done under UN supervision, that water supply to Crimea should be 'assured', and that 'Ukraine remains neutral'.
He also said the peace deal should include a recognition that Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014, should be 'formally a part of Russia.'
Crimea has been recognized as a part of Ukraine by the US and other allies since Russian invaded in 2014 and conducted a referendum. At the end of September, Russia also held sham referendums in four regions of Eastern Ukraine.
He put his suggestions to a vote. By Tuesday morning, 60 percent of the more than 2 million people voting on the Twitter poll had selected 'no' to his proposal.
This clearly didn't go down well with the billionaire. Replying to one of the Twitter accounts supporting his suggestions, Musk bemoaned the poll result calling it the 'biggest bot attack I've ever seen', and that 'the bot attack on this poll is strong!'
[link to www.dailymail.co.uk (secure)