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The organisers of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s biggest telecoms fair due to be held in Barcelona from 28 February until 3 March, have said there will not be a Russian pavilion this year due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The GSMA industry association which stages the annual event said in a statement that it ‘energetically condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’.
The company led by John Hoffman said that ‘GSMA complies with all sanctions and governmental policies’ stemming from Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
‘In light of this emerging situation and considering the tragic loss of life, MWC seems immaterial under the circumstances,’ a statement added.
‘The GSMA is complying with all sanctions and government policies resulting from this situation. Therefore, there will be no Russian pavilion at MWC22.’
Around 12 Russian firms were set to be part of the Russian pavilion at the four-day event which gets underway on Monday in Barcelona. The firms can still participate but they will not be grouped together in their own pavilion.
Organisers 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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Will Israel be allowed to participate?