Bay Area set for Russian President Medvedev visit

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev smile during a visit at an exhibition at the economic forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, Pool)

June 22, 2010 2:03:35 PM PDT
The Bay Area is getting ready for the Tuesday evening arrival of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

There is already a Russian contingent in San Francisco from a warship docked in the bay. The Russian sailors planned to take part in an annual memorial service at Land's End Tuesday morning. The event, set for 12:30 p.m., is a wreath-laying ceremony for the USS San Francisco, a war ship that fought in WWII and saw action in the Pacific.

The sailors came to San Francisco on the Russian warship Varyag, which arrived in the Port of San Francisco on Sunday for a five-day visit. Its visit is significant because it is the first Russian warship to come to San Francisco in 147 years. Czar Alexander II sent one in 1863 to show support for the Union side of the Civil War.

Medvedev is arriving Tuesday night and on Wednesday will tour Silicon Valley looking for connections and investments for what he envisions as a Silicon Valley of sorts just outside of Moscow. He will meet with leaders of Cisco, Apple, Google and Twitter. The meetings serve to remind people in the Bay Area how the area is regarded around the world.

"People come here from around the globe or ask us to come to them around the globe because they quote, want to start another Silicon Valley," said Carl Guardino of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. "That's a huge compliment to the innovation economy and all that it represents."

Medvedev will also give a speech at Stanford Wednesday. He will be seeing American democracy in action as protestors are expected to greet him, some upset about human rights violations in Russia, other upset about Russia's treatment of the Republic of Georgia.

Tuesday night, Medvedev will meet with Governor Schwarzenegger at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco to talk about a non-profit setup to maintain Fort Ross, a Russian settlement in what is now known as Sonoma County. It was established in the 1800s and they want to make sure it is maintained for educational purposes.


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