MOSCOW — Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in Russia for meetings with top officials to discuss technology and and to try and expand his company’s footprint in the country with the most Internet users in Europe. But first he made time for a bit of sightseeing and some American fast food.
Zuckerburg took his picture (wearing a hoodie, of course) in front of St Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square and made waves in the Russian blogosphere for eating at McDonald’s. Earlier this year the newly minted billionaire also grabbed headlines when he took his bride to a McDonald’s in Rome.
Today he sat down with Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, who maintains an active presence on Facebook and Twitter.
Zuckerberg lost the hoodie in favor of a dark suit and Medvedev tweeted out an Instagram photo of their meeting.
The two had actually met before and at the G8 in France last year.
In remarks before their meeting, Medvedev mentioned Russian social networking site VKontake, which dominates the social network scene here and also appears to have mimicked Facebook’s design. Ironically, later on in his remarks, Medvedev, a former lawyer, suggested there must be protections for intellectual property online.
For his part, Zuckerberg praised the Russian IT industry but agreed intellectual property was important because of the large investments Facebook pours into innovation.
At the end of their remarks Zuckerberg presented the prime minister with a white t-shirt with the web address of Medvedev’s Facebook page printed on it.
Zuckerberg is in Moscow for a few more days and is expected to attend a hackathon, where computer programers compete against each other.