SAN JOSE, Calif. – Networking giant Cisco Systems is launching a venture capital effort in Russia.

Cisco plans to invest “direct investment opportunities” in technology startups. The program will also include investments in venture capital teams.

Cisco already has a full-time investment manager in Moscow.

The size of the investment was not disclosed.

Cisco already has made an investment in Ozon, an e-commerce site in Russia.

"While Russia has low Internet penetration in terms of percentage of its overall population, in absolute terms it has as many Internet users as some Western European countries," said Bob Agee, vice president for Cisco Russia, in a statement.

"The amount of technical talent in Russia shows that the country is ready to become more technologically advanced. Increased investment in communications infrastructure can help improve productivity, diversify the economy and increase the standard of living across the country," he added.

Cisco has invested more than $1 billion in venture funding over the past 10 years.