Kremlin applauds Elon Musk’s proposal for a peace deal that Kyiv criticized

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The Kremlin on Tuesday praised the head of Tesla (NASDAQ):TSLA), Elon Musk, for suggesting a possible peace deal to end the war in Ukraine, after Kyiv rebuked Musk for proposing conditions he believes reward Russia.

“It’s very positive that someone like Elon Musk is looking for a peaceful way out of this situation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

“Compared to many professional diplomats, Musk continues to look for ways to achieve peace. And achieving peace without fulfilling Russia’s conditions is absolutely impossible,” he added.

In a poll published Monday on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), the Tesla boss proposed that Ukraine permanently cede Crimea to Russia, that new referendums be held under the auspices of the UN to determine the fate of Russian-controlled territory, and that Ukraine accept neutrality.

Kyiv says it will never agree to cede land taken by force and that legal referendums cannot be held in an occupied territory where many people have been killed or expelled. After Vladimir Putin announced last week the annexation of four Ukrainian provinces, Kyiv said it was applying for NATO membership and would not negotiate with Russia as long as Putin was president.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded to Musk’s proposal with his own Twitter poll in which he asked, “Which @elonmusk do you like best? One that supports Ukraine (or) one that supports Russia.”

By 10:30 GMT on Tuesday, Musk’s original poll had garnered more than 2.5 million votes, with 60% opposed to the plan.

Peskov said Tuesday that “bots” — fake Twitter accounts — were “actively participating in the vote.” He provided no evidence.

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Moscow has always been open to a negotiated end to the conflict, Peskov added. He criticized a new Ukrainian decree, signed by Zelensky on Tuesday, that says Kiev will not negotiate directly with Putin to end the conflict.

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