GSMA’s MWC Barcelona drops Russian pavilion due to invasion of Ukraine

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Organizers of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) said Friday there would be no Russian pavilion at the world’s biggest telecoms fair next week in Barcelona due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The GSMA industry association which stages the annual event said in a statement it “energetically condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

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“In light of this emerging situation and considering the tragic loss of life, MWC seems immaterial under the circumstances,” it added.

“The GSMA is complying with all sanctions and government policies resulting from this situation. Therefore, there will be no Russian pavilion at MWC22.”

About a dozen Russian firms were set to be part of the Russian pavilion at the four-day event which gets underway on Monday in Barcelona in northeastern Spain.

These firms can still take part in the fair but they will not be grouped together in their own pavilion.

Organizers expect 40,000 to 60,000 people will attend the event, which will feature more than 1,500 exhibitors from 150 countries.

The show, a key event for showcasing new technologies, had been cancelled at the last minute in 2020 after multiple companies withdrew as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

Last year, the congress did take place although it was in June instead of February and included a mixture of in-person and online events, drawing just 20,000 visitors compared with 100,000 in normal times.

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