Facebook's co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have a lot in common. They are both elite tech enthusiasts with large populations who they serve. The two met in Moscow Monday to discuss their mutual interest in tech innovation and Facebook's presence in the region.
Medvedev is hoping to create the equivalent of Silicon Valley in his country, and Zuckerberg would like to see Facebook compete better against the Russian language incumbent social network, VKontakte. Facebook has fewer than 10 million of its nearly 1 billion users in Russia, and VKontakte has nearly 35 million users.
"Medvedev and Zuckerberg have discussed Facebook's possible presence in Russia not only as a social network, but also as a company that deals with the most advanced products. They have also discussed Skolkovo as a place where startups could be of mutual interest," said Natalya Timakova Medvedev's press secretary.
Zuckerberg's visit coincided with Facebook's Developer World Hack 2012, a talent recruitment effort that will bring programmers from around the world to visit the company's campus and meet the Facebook team. Facebook is seeking to import computer science talent in Russia and other countries.
A tweet by Russia's communications minister had suggested that Medvedev had persuaded Zuckerberg to open a research center in Moscow rather than seek to bring Russian programmers to the U.S. A Facebook spokesperson said that the tweet was misinterpreted, however. The spokesperson said that while the company is interested in Russia, it has no plans to expand operations into Russia.
According to an AFP report, Zuckerberg also visited Red Square and enjoyed a meal at McDonald's.
This post was updated to include a comment from Facebook.