The organisers of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona have confirmed there will be no Russian Pavilion at this year’s event and that certain companies and executives from the country will be barred from attending due to international sanctions.
The Russian Pavilion is one of several country-specific stands that usually populate the halls of MWC and are usually organised by investment bodies or government departments to showcase companies and startups from their nation.
Industry body the GSMA said it would adhere to sanctions imposed by the US, UK, EU and others on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine but said it did not expect any major impact on the show, which is due to be staged in its traditional spring timeslot for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
MWC 2022 Russia
“As we see the situation today, we don’t see any need or requirement to [cancel the show]. Of course it’s an evolving situation and we will continue to monitor it,” GSMA chief executive John Hofmann told Reuters.
“We are guided by the international sanctions and there are some companies that are identified on the sanction list and those will be barred from participating,”
TechRadar Pro has contacted MWC for further comment.
This year’s MWC is the first to be held during the event’s usual spring timeslot since 2019, with 2020’s event cancelled at late notice due to the pandemic and 2021’s iteration taking place in the summer. The GSMA expects up to 60,000 attendees and does not expect recent events to have a material impact on the show.
In a separate development, some mobile operators are waiving charges for calls to Ukraine and roaming fees for customers currently in the country. The CEO’s of BT-EE and Vodafone UK have both confirmed their networks would be among them.
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