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Medvedev surveys Silicon Valley at start of high-profile US visit

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-06-22

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev travels to California Tuesday and will visit Silicon Valley in the first day of a high-profile US visit and the latest effort to build on the "reset" of US-Russian relations initiated by US President Barack Obama.

AFP - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev heads to the United States Tuesday for a three-day visit aimed at improving bilateral relations and strengthening cooperation on economic issues and new technology.

Medvedev was to arrive in San Francisco Tuesday and then head the next day to California's Silicon Valley to visit the headquarters of major high-tech companies including Cisco, Apple and Twitter.

Before departing, Medvedev said Russia should use the experience of the Silicon Valley technology hub to help modernise his country.

Silicon Valley's experience as a high-tech hub "is not definitive but is quite interesting" for modernisation projects in Russia, Medvedev said in televised remarks.

Medvedev's US visit: A Silicon Implant in Russia?

Medvedev was also to have lunch Tuesday with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"It is particularly interesting to bring together the US potential in science and technology, and the possibilities in the Russian market, and use all this in mutually beneficial projects," the Kremlin said in a statement.

One project Medvedev has singled out as a priority is the setting up of an innovation centre in the Moscow suburb of Skolkovo, envisaging it as the Russian Silicon Valley.

The project aims to entice leading Russian and foreign scientists to focus their energies on nuclear and bio-medical technologies, energy and telecommunications.

On Thursday Medvedev would hold talks with US President Barack Obama and members of the Senate.

Sergei Prikhodko, Medvedev's top foreign policy adviser, told reporters Monday that the Russian leader was hoping recent improvements in Russia-US relations would extend to economic ties.

"The good movements in the military and political area and in regional cooperation must be followed with real progress in the economic sector," he said.

"The ratification of the nuclear disarmament treaty (START), the problems of the missile defense weaponry as well as the situation in Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and North Korea will be top of the agenda," Prikhodko added.

Washington and Moscow are working on a joint statement on Kyrgyzstan, where deadly ethnic clashes this month may have killed up to 2,000 people and affected more than one million others, Prikhodko said.

He said Moscow and Washington, who both have military bases in the Central Asian country, would express their "concern" over events there but would not raise the issue of their bases.

US and Russian relations have improved over the past few months after the presidents signed a new START treaty, in which both agreed to slash their stockpiles of nuclear weapons by roughly 30 percent.

After the US visit, Medvedev is set to take part in the Group of Eight and Group of 20 summits in Canada at the weekend.

Date created : 2010-06-22


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