KOMMERSANT (Russia), FACEBOOK, TWITTER

Worldcrunch

MOSCOW - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg met with Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev to discuss the possibility that the social network's presence in Russia expand from the virtual to physical world.

The two talked business development at the Skolkovo Innovation Center, a Silicon-Valleyesque tech center near the city of Samara, some 600 miles southeast of Moscow, that Zuckerberg is eyeing as a possible location for the Facebook's Russian headquarters, Moscow-based daily Kommersant reports.

Zuckerberg said that he came to visit Russia because he had been impressed by Russian programmers, and hoped to have them working on new worldwide offerings for Facebook.

On the eve of Zuckerberg’s visit, several Russian tech experts said that they were hesitant about Zuckerberg’s visit, afraid that he was coming to poach good programmers from Russian companies.

In response, the head of Russia’s Telecomunications Ministry said on Twitter: “I’m surprised by all this talk about somebody stealing away other people’s workers. We don’t have any restrictions on leaving the country." Telcom Minister Nikolay Nikiforov added that "the question is where there are better conditions for the realization of these specialist’s potential. I know of several instances of ‘stealing’ employees from the US to Russia.” 

Zuckerberg gave Medvedev a t-shirt with his Facebook profile on it. On his own Facebook page, Zuckerberg posted a photo of himself with Medvedev and said he had had a good conversation with the Russian Prime Minister.