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UA Student Unions ends partnership with Yandex

UA students will say goodbye to their beloved food delivery robots

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A Yandex food delivery robot sits in front of the "Bear Down" sign in front of the Main Library. (Photo courtesy of Yulia Shveyko.)

University of Arizona students must part with the food delivery robots they’ve grown accustomed to seeing rolling around campus.

Arizona Student Unions announced on Instagram that it will no longer be doing business with Yandex, the Russian technology company that manufactures and services the fully autonomous food delivery robots, which were introduced to campus in November 2021.

“Due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Arizona Student Unions and Arizona Dining will cease doing business with Yandex, a Russian multi-national public traded company and the hardware provider of the robot couriers on campus, as of today, March 3, 2022,” the Student Unions said in the caption of the post.

The post also noted that the Student Unions is working with Grubhub to “secure a new robot delivery solution in the coming weeks.”

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Shares in the Russian company and Google competitor Yandex, which manufactures and operates the fully autonomous robots, plummeted by 59% on Feb. 24 after the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed “swift and severe” economic sanctions. 

Trading of the company’s shares was indefinitely halted after the Central Bank of Russia announced the closing of the Russian stock market on Monday due to “sanction-related volatility,” according to Barron’s magazine.

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The sanctions came in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The UA will join the ranks of other organizations in the U.S. that are taking actions to cut Russia off from the global economy. Uber, which has a ride-sharing partnership with Yandex called Yandex.Taxi, is divesting all of its $800 million in shares of the Russian company and said that three of its executives serving on the board of Yandex.Taxi will resign, according to a Monday article from The New York Times.

Last week, UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins sent an email to the university community on Friday, Feb. 25, offering words of sympathy and consolation to those affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The University of Arizona stands in support of those in our community affected by the unprovoked attack and invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine by Russian military forces this week,” Robbins said in the email. “While the heart-wrenching images and news reports reaching us from Ukraine have evoked anger, sadness, and fear among people across the region and around the world, the barbaric actions by Russia also have stirred great resolve among civilized nations and allies.”

The president encouraged students and faculty to reach out to Campus Health Counseling and Psychological Services and Employee Assistance Counseling through Life and Work Connections.


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