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Moscow offers Elon Musk talks on ‘state support’ as Tesla boss mulls opening production in Russia

Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade has invited Elon Musk to discuss the opening of a Tesla factory there, saying it could potentially qualify for a state support program.

“We were delighted to learn that you are considering building a factory in Russia,” the ministry said in a tweet on Friday. Just hours earlier, the US-based billionaire revealed that Tesla is exploring opportunities for selling its electric cars in Russia and neighboring nations – including opening a production hub there.

“We have a number of state support measures for local [original equipment manufacturers],” the ministry added, inviting the South African-born entrepreneur to “come” and “talk” about it. 

Musk, who has never hidden his admiration for the Soviet and Russian achievements in space exploration, has long advocated a more active dialogue between Moscow and Washington.

“There is a lot of talent and energy in Russia,” he said while talking via a video link to the Russian ‘New Knowledge’ education forum on Friday.

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FILE PHOTO: A Tesla Model X electric vehicle in Moscow, Russia. © Reuters / Evgenia Novozhenina
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Musk has even invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to a chat on the app Clubhouse once. The Kremlin has recently responded by saying that they hope a meeting between Putin and Musk would happen eventually, but provided no specific timeline. 

As for the ministry’s proposal, Musk has not responded to it yet.

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