The governments of several European Union countries are ready to share payment said Fedorov (who is also Ukraine’s minister for digital transformation) in an interview with Bloomberg, affirming that “As of now all financial issues have been resolved.” Fedorov did not publicly identify which governments are contributing towards the payments but confirmed that there’s currently no contract in place and that Ukraine will need to find additional funding by spring 2023.
“We are ready to live without electricity for a month with at least mobile network and text messages being available,” Fedorov said, alluding to Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. “Regarding internet, we have a lot of Starlinks, but the key point is we have got a nod for another shipment that will be used to stabilize 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 following a direct request to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on February 24th to rapidly restore communications lost in Russian air attacks in areas where mobile networks are unavailable. “There is no alternative to satellite connections,” Fedorov said.
“SpaceX and Musk quickly react to problems and help us,” said Fedorov. “Musk assured us he will continue to support Ukraine. When we had a powerful blackout, I messaged him on that day and he momentarily reacted and has already delivered some steps. He understands the situation.”