Russian search giant Yandex has today announced Yandex.Factory, a new investment program aimed at startups in the CIS region of Europe.

The scheme will finance startups with seed or early stage funds with sums of up to “Hundreds of thousands of US dollars.”

The company says that it is looking to invest in the development of products which it may like to acquire at a later date, but also says “Not everything in this world can be bought. For example, you can’t purchase the motivation of a team driven to start their own business. In general, these people often have the most interesting ideas and projects.”

Yandex says that the best way for startups to make themselves known to the team behind the program is to attend the company’s quarterly Yandex.Start events in Moscow, although it will still consider companies that cannot make it.

As I found when I visited Ukraine last year, startup-friendly investment for startups in Russia and the CIS region can be difficult to find, often leading talented developer teams to working as outsourcing shops for Western firms rather than standing on their own feet as a business.