Collision tech conference bans Russian companies, aerospace and tech companies blocked from exporting to Russia

Russian companies have been banned from a global tech conference in Toronto and many Canadian tech companies can no longer sell products in Russia as a result of Canadian sanctions in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Collision, a global tech conference that is being held in Toronto this summer, said that all Russian and Belarusian companies will be barred from attending. The president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian troops have entered Ukraine through its border with Belarus.

The conference is supporting and acting in accordance with restrictions and sanctions implemented by the EU and the Canadian government against Russia and Belarus, the conference said in a statement sent to Research Money.

“We have made the decision to prohibit all government members and agencies, state-controlled media, state-backed businesses, and companies with ties to the Russian government, from participating at Collision,” Collision said. “Furthermore, all Russian businesses, including public and private companies, will be prohibited from exhibiting at Collision.”

The conference said its team will be monitoring the situation closely but that “as things stand” they will not be hosting any Russian or Belarusian organization and businesses.

The Collision Conference, run by the Irish company Web Summit, will be held in late April and is expected to have more than 40,000 attendees. Speakers often include CEOs of major companies, political figures and famous celebrities from around the world.

This year’s speakers include Toronto Mayor John Tory; the CEO of Tinder Renate Nyborg; Andy Fang, the co-founder of DoorDash; Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales; Hootsuite CEO Tom Keiser; Olympian Penny Oleksiak; and Shailesh Jejurikar, the chief operating officer at Proctor & Gamble.

Aerospace, technology and minerals exporters will also be affected by Canadian sanctions against Russia. Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said on Feb. 24 that hundreds of export permits are being cancelled — together worth more than $700 million — and that the government will reject applications for new permits to export goods to Russia.

“No aerospace technology or mineral goods will be sent to Russia,” Joly said at the time.

New restrictions will also prevent the export of any goods related to offshore oil, shale oil or Arctic oil exploration and production, including financial services related to those goods, the Canadian government says.

Canadian aerospace company Bombardier has cancelled all of its activities with Russian clients, according to Reuters.

Other companies and individuals are also cutting ties to Russia:

  • Magna International Inc. is idling its auto manufacturing plants in Russia. It has six plants and employs about 2,500 people in the country.
  • Kinross Gold Corporation is suspending all Russia operations.
  • More than 100 Canadian business leaders and investment managers have signed a letter vowing to sell off all of their Russian investments.
  • American tech companies such as Apple, Dell and Microsoft have suspended sales in Russia.

The Canadian space company MDA, meanwhile, says it is providing Ukraine with satellite images to track Russian troop movements. MDA previously agreed to build Ukraine’s first telecommunications satellite, Lybid, but the project has been held up for years due to political instability.