Russian authorities are wrapping up talks with Cisco and Nokia over their engagement into the Russian high-tech research Skolkovo project, presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich said. According to Dvorkovich, U.S.-based communications giant Cisco Systems, Inc., one of the leading technological partners of the upcoming St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, "actually made the decision to participate in the Skolkovo project". He said Russia was also negotiating with Nokia mobile producer over its participation in the project.
In February 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia was planning to establish a modern powerful center for research and development, similar to the U.S. Silicon Valley, world leading high-tech hub, located near San Jose, California. The high-tech research and production hub is being built from scratch in the Moscow Region town of Skolkovo. It is planned that some 4.6 billion rubles ($158 mln) will be allocated for the project's construction in 2010.
"We are communicating with several companies simultaneously, ultimately with U.S. companies, as well as the European and Asian ones," Dvorkovich said, adding Russia has the closest ties with Cisco.
Dvorkovich said negotiations may be held within the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 17-19. "We will do our best so that Skolkovo's first governing board actually takes place in St. Petersburg," the presidential aide said, adding that the board will comprise company representatives that had already confirmed their participation in the project.
The program of this year's forum is divided into three areas: "Global Economy: Managing the Recovery," "Russia -Today and Tomorrow," and "Looking into the Future." The focus will be on modernization and the participants are expected to discuss opportunities provided by the global economic crisis. The forum will be opened by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and French President Nikolas Sarkozy is expected to deliver a speech on the second day of talks. RIA Novosti is the forum's main information partner.