Huawei has signed a deal with Russian operator MTS to develop a 5G network in Russia over the next year. The agreement was reached during a trade meeting held in Moscow between China’s president Xi Jinping and Russian president Vladimir Putin.
MTS said the agreement would include the development of 5G technologies and the pilot launch of 5G networks in the 2019-2020 time frame. In an email to Cnet, MTS chief Alexei Kornya said the agreement would build “a foundation for commercial 5G rollouts in Russia.”
The deal comes at a time when Huawei is facing increased pressure from Western nations that believe its network gear could pose a security risk. Several countries across Europe have decided to increase their security standards for telecom network gear, while others have banned Huawei outright from 5G buildouts.
Last month, President Trump declared a national emergency with regard to telecom equipment in the U.S., citing security risks. At the same time, the U.S. Commerce Department effectively blacklisted the company by placing it on the “entity list”
The developments have emerged amid escalating tensions between China and the Trump administration, as a trade war between the two countries lags on. Meanwhile, China’s Xi is meeting this week with Putin to bolster trade between the two countries.