In an interesting 4/18/05 news item from the JDJ News Desk, reporters quote Leonid Reiman, Russia's Minister of Information Technologies and Communications, as saying that his ministry is spearheading Russia's effort to shift away from its dependency on fuel exports toward a knowledge- and service- based economy. Reiman, who spoke at the 8th Annual Russian Economic Forum in London, said that his goal was for Russia to become "a global leader in outsourcing and software exports.
Outsourcing IT development to Russia is nothing new. For example, Sun Microsystems, which currently employs about 150 contract engineers to do system software development in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Novosibirsk, was one of the first US firms to from the West to establish a presence in post-Soviet Russia about eight years ago.
You can also read about Microsoft's subsidiary in Russia at http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/news/0,12597,1461553,00.html