The governments of several European Union countries are ready to share the payment, Fedorov (who is also Ukraine’s minister for digital transformation) said in an interview with Bloomberg, affirming that “from now on all financial problems are solved.” Fedorov did not publicly disclose which governments are contributing to the payments, but confirmed that there is currently no contract and that Ukraine must find additional funding by spring 2023.
“We are ready to live without electricity for a month, with at least a mobile network and text messages,” Fedorov said, referring to Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. “In terms of the Internet, we have a lot of Starlinks, but the main point is that we have a nod to another shipment that will be used to stabilize the connection for critical situations.”
Ukraine has received about 22,000 Starlink antennas since the country was invaded by Russia in February, according to Fedorov. Support for the Starlink satellite-based Internet service was enabled in Ukraine after a direct request to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on February 24 to quickly restore communications lost in Russian airstrikes in areas where mobile networks are unavailable. “There is no alternative to satellite connections,” Fedorov said.
“SpaceX and Musk respond quickly to issues and help us,” said Fedorov. “Musk assured us that he will continue to support Ukraine. When we had a powerful blackout, I messaged him that day and he responded briefly and has already taken some steps. He understands the situation.”