MWC to Bar Some Russian Companies from Next Week’s Show

MWC to Bar Some Russian Companies from Next Week’s Show

The GSMA, which organizes the world’s largest annual mobile connection event (also known as Mobile World Congress), has announced that several Russian businesses would be barred from exhibiting at the conference, which begins on Monday in Barcelona. However, the telecom industry association is still planning to accept Russian participation in the exhibition as of this writing.

The GSMA has limited Russia’s participation at MWC as a result of the country’s invasion of Ukraine early yesterday morning. Russian tanks and military personnel are said to be closing in on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, at the time of writing, following previous artillery bombardments from the air, land, and sea.

A GSMA spokeswoman would to say whether all Russian firms, including carriers, would be barred from attending MWC, citing a statement released earlier by Reuters that stated there would be no Russian pavilion this year. The GSMA will continue to support international sanctions against Russia, according to the spokeswoman. The whole statement is available on the GSMA website:

The GSMA is outspoken in its condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The situation is rapidly evolving, and we gather that a number of states are considering imposing additional sanctions on Russia. Under view of this developing scenario and the awful loss of life, MWC appears to be irrelevant in the circumstances. MWC is a uniting event with the goal of bringing together the mobile ecosystem to advance methods and means for individuals, industry, and society to prosper via connection. The GSMA is keeping track of all government sanctions and regulations related to this scenario. 

At MWC22, there will be no Russian Pavilion. As new information becomes available, the event’s security is regularly analyzed and updated. Typically, MWC nation pavilions have a lot of smaller enterprises crammed into a tiny space. Larger exhibitors, such as telecom VimpelCom, which has Russian ties, may pay the GSMA to solely occupy a more valuable piece of real estate on the exhibition floor.

And it looks that the GSMA will not ban out these wealthy Russian firms unless penalties force them to do so. The European Council’s Foreign Affairs Council is gathering right now to attempt to get an agreement on a second round of sanctions against Russia, which the bloc’s president claimed will target important areas of the economy, including access to “critical” technology.

“We want to cut Russia’s industry off from the technology that are so vitally required to construct a future,” Ursula von der Leyen stated. “Our actions will erode Russia’s technical leadership in critical sectors, which are where the wealthy make the majority of their money.” This includes anything from high-tech parts to cutting-edge software. In the long run, this will severely harm the Russian economy in all areas.” The GSMA’s CEO, John Hoffman, affirmed today in an interview with the Reuters news agency that the event will not be canceled or postponed as a result of the commencement of war in Europe.