Microsoft to open research center near Moscow

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US software giant Microsoft said Monday it had signed a draft accord to open a technology centre in a Moscow suburb where Russian authorities hope to establish a Russian Silicon Valley,

The agreement was signed by Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer and Viktor Vekselberg, who is in charge of the planned project in Skolkovo, the US group said in a statement.

The company in addition plans to boost its backing for Russian start-up enterprises, providing either financial or technical support.

Vekselberg said an investment of 180-200 billion rubles (4.3-48 billion euros, 5.9-6.7 billion dollars) would be needed to create the the complex at Skolkovo.

© 2010 AFP

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