President Dmitry Medvedev will begin on Wednesday his trip to the United States with visits to Silicon Valley and Standord University, the centers of hi-tech research the Russian leader wants to implant at home.
"San-Francisco will be the first point of the visit," Medvedev's top economic aide Arkady Dvorkovich told a news conference."The choice was not accidental and is linked to the priorities Medvedev set as early as last year," he added.
Medvedev, who seeks to diversify the Russian economy by reducing its dependence on oil and gas exports, has made developing hi-tech sectors and encouraging research the focal point of his economic agenda.
He is now pressing ahead with the creation of a national hi-tech research hub in Moscow suburb Skolkovo, dubbed by the media as the Russian Silicon valley.
Medvedev wants top international researchers and companies to help create the centre, which will produce commercial hi-tech projects and become a model for similar hubs across Russia.
"All experts name Silicon Valley and Stanford University the most successful centers of innovative development and hi-tech research," Dvorkovich said. "The president has decided he should see this all with his own eyes."
Dvorkovich said Medvedev planned to meet Google Inc. head Eric Schmidt, who has agreed to join Skolkovo's board of trustees.
The aide said Russia's admission to the World Trade Organisation along with traditional political and trade issues would be high on the agenda of Medvedev's talks with U.S. President Barack Obama later this week.
MOSCOW, June 21 (RIA Novosti)