Russia will not be allowed to attend Mobile World Congress 2022

The invasion of the Russian Federation into the territory of Ukraine is now beginning to affect technology exhibitions as well. Going into details, authoritative publications represented by TechCrunch and Reuters report that the GSM Association will ban some Russian companies from participating in the Mobile World Congress 2022 exhibition when it starts on February 28. And despite the fact that at the moment the above-mentioned association has not announced which companies were banned from participating in the event, it nevertheless stated that there will not be at least any Russian pavilion at the exhibition to demonstrate the mobile products of this country.

Moreover, as John Hoffman, head of the GSM Association, told Reuters, there are no plans to cancel or postpone Mobile World Congress 2022. However, the organization also added on its website that it would comply with all “sanctions and policies” against Russia. Some companies in the country are already on the sanctions list, added John Hoffmann, which is why they will not be able to attend the event even if the organizers would strongly like to. And it is important to clarify that these measures allow the use and presentation of Russian mobile devices, but only if they are not sent to Russian government officials or their affiliates.

As is the case with some trade shows, Russian companies, such as telecom operator VimpelCom, can buy special exhibition space that could provide their presence. The main ban will primarily affect those companies that counted on the presence of Russia in the pavilion. These bans come as technology increasingly serves as a battleground for the Russian Federation and its Western adversaries.

For example, such large social platforms as Facebook and Twitter have already managed to take certain steps aimed at protecting Ukrainians and those who track the movements of the Russian military. Russia, in turn, has restricted access to Facebook within its own country in response to moves that also restrict four major Russian media outlets. In any case, whether it wants to or not, the GSM Association is getting involved in politics, albeit through no fault of its own, that can affect the mobile world as a whole, which is not a good sign.

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