Medvedev's U.S. trip starts in California(14 images)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's U.S. trip produced a blockbuster announcement Wednesday with Cisco Systems saying it will invest $1 billion in his country.

An agreement signed in California by Cisco and Russian officials puts Russia on course to develop its own Silicon Valley in Skolkovo, near Moscow, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

"Simply put, we're all in," Cisco Chief Executive Officer John Chambers told Medvedev regarding what is intended to be a "wide-ranging series of collaborative initiatives."

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also was on hand when Cisco demonstrated its video conferencing, business social networking and sports casting technology for the Russian leader.

Cisco will initially pump in $100 million in venture money in Russia. Other facets will include establishing an innovation and venture center in Skolkovo, where Cisco also will put a second global headquarters for its Emerging Technology Group.

Cisco also will put up $175,000 in prize money for winning entrepreneurial teams in Russia.

Medvedev was to tour Apple, Google and Twitter, and speak at Stanford University later in the day.

Medvedev has made high-tech development and research top priorities of his economic agenda and is using his five-day U.S. trip to learn more about the sector, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

"There will be a serious program tomorrow: I will inspect the high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. This is very useful for us given our plans for a similar center near Moscow," Medvedev said at a dinner Tuesday in San Francisco with Schwarzenegger.

Russia is building a high-tech research hub in Skolkovo, a Moscow suburb, dubbed Russia's Silicon Valley, RIA Novosti said.

Medvedev said it would benefit Russia and the United States to cooperate in the high-tech arena and that he supports creating a Russian-U.S. working group for that purpose.

"We know you are very interested not only in developing and diversifying the economy but also you are very interested in nuclear disarmament," Schwarzenegger told Medvedev. "I want to tell you how much I appreciate that."

Schwarzenegger and Medvedev also toasted an international partnership to help California's state parks Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Medvedev witnessed Schwarzenegger signing a memorandum of understanding with Russia's Renova Group of Companies that will help preserve California's Fort Ross State Historic Park, a Russian-American settlement dating from the 1800s.

"Russian private investment will help the state," Schwarzenegger said. "It's a great collaboration."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (C)with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) visits Cisco headquarters in San Jose, CA on June 23, 2010 during his two-day visit to Silicon Valley. UPI Photo/Alex Volgin | License Photo
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