Vodafone has suspended its 14-year partnership with Russian telecoms company MTS due to the invasion of Ukraine.

The move comes after US stock exchanges halted trading of MTS, along with other Russian firms, and the West levies sanctions against Russia.

– Wikimedia Commons/Maksym Kozlenko

“Vodafone confirms that it has suspended its partner market agreement with MTS," the company said in a short statement.

The two companies extended their strategic partnership agreement just this January, saying that they planned to continue it until at least 2023.

Vodafone helped with procurement, marketing and network operations and said in January that it would deepen the partnership to identify new opportunities to enhance MTS’ business operations, drive technology innovation, and strengthen strategic execution across consumer and enterprise segments.

“Partnering with Vodafone unlocks new opportunities for MTS to leverage our partner’s expertise toward enhancing our operations and business productivity," Alexander Gorbunov, MTS VP for strategy and development, said at the time.

"Our strategic partnership with Vodafone has delivered significant benefits, saving MTS time and resources as we executed on key infrastructure projects, as well as improving our network development and enhancing our product launches.”

In January, Diego Massidda, CEO of partner markets at Vodafone Group, called the partnership "mutually beneficial."

Last week, Vodafone Group subsidiary Vodafone UK became one of a number of British telcos to cover the roaming charges of any customers in Ukraine, and waive call fees to and from the nation.

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