Elon Musk
Vladimir Putin praises Elon Musk who he called a “smart person”. Wikimedia Commons

A surprising moment in Tucker Carlson's 2-hour interview with Vladimir Putin came when the President of Russia unexpectedly heaped praise on Elon Musk.

When Carlson brought up AI and Neuralink, Putin chuckled and said things were getting "complicated".

He told the anchor: "Mankind is currently facing many threats. Due to the genetic researchers, it's now possible to create a superhuman, a specialised human being, a genetically-engineered athlete, scientist, military man".

Earlier this month, Musk's neurotechnology company, Neuralink announced it implanted a wireless brain chip in a human for the first time. Putin, who sees Musk as unstoppable, wants rules for mind chips like Neuralink.

"I think there's no stopping Elon Musk. He will do as he sees fit," Putin said. He emphasized the need for collaboration and regulations regarding technology like Neuralink, suggesting open communication with Musk due to his intelligence.

Musk, who shared the link to the full interview on X, did not react to Putin's praise. However, he praised Carlson saying, "Tucker Carlson is amazing. We need more journalism like this."

Putin on the state of US-Russia relations

During the interview, Putin also told Carlson that the West should understand it is "impossible" to defeat Russia in Ukraine.

When asked about the American reporter Evan Gershkovich, who's been locked up in Russia for almost a year over spying accusations (which he, his employer and the US government deny), Putin said the Russian and American intelligence agencies are "talking" and there's no reason they can't "fix this".

"He's not just a journalist. I reiterate. He's a journalist who is secretly getting confidential information," Putin said in reply to Carlson's objections that Gershkovich is clearly not a spy.

Putin dropped a hint about a trade. He talked about a Russian spy stuck in Germany (apparently for killing someone) who Russia wants to swap for Gershkovich, but didn't say his name. A report by Politico suggests he could be referring to the case of Russian FSB agent Vadim Krasikov.

Carlson triggered a curious exchange when he asked Putin about the attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea in September 2022.

"Who blew up Nord Stream?" Carlson asked. Putin responded: "You for sure." The host jokingly responded: "I was busy that day. I did not blow up Nord Stream." In a playful jab, Putin noted that although Carlson had an alibi (proof of where he was) during the time of the bombings, the CIA didn't.

However, the Russian did not back up his accusations with any evidence. It is worth noting that Washington has repeatedly denied this accusation. Carlson is the first Western media figure to interview Putin since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.