'MWC 2022' organisers ban Russian firms from tech show

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) The organisers of the ‘Mobile World Congress 2022’ (MWC 2022) have announced to ban some Russian companies from exhibiting at the conference in Barcelona, Spain, that is scheduled to kick off from February 28.

Russia’s participation at the ‘MWC 2022’ is being restricted by the organisers GSMA following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The GSMA strongly condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The situation is fast-moving, and we understand that various governments are considering broader sanctions against Russia,” the organisers said in a statement late on Friday.

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

“The GSMA follows all government sanctions and policies resulting from this situation. There will be no Russian Pavilion at MWC22. Security for the event is constantly reviewed and adjusted as information emerges,” the organisers said.

With airspaces being shut over certain parts of Europe, especially eastern, amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, MWC 2022 is in a tight spot and may barely sail through.

The ‘MWC 2022’ is scheduled to begin — with a mix of in-person and virtual events — in Barcelona on February 28 and will end on March 3.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has said Ukraine’s skies and airspace in Russia and Belarus within 100 nautical miles of borders with Ukraine could pose risks. UK flights to and over Russia have been banned by the country’s civil aviation authority in retaliation for a British ban on Aeroflot in UK airports and airspace.

Experts said the event may go on but a cautious approach is the need of the hour.

The show is expected to have over 1,800 attendees and exhibitors from 183 different countries. Many of the industry’s biggest names, like Google, Samsung, OPPO, Nokia, Ericsson and Meta (formerly Facebook), are expected to be present this year.