Russia certainly has a history of working independantly on the same stuff as we do, particularly in the area of really big things (space) and really small things (particles). This is a good thing for us, since they are not doing this in a vacuum (no pun intended). We will ultimately beneift from their work.
If we are keeping score, it seems like Europe is currently in the lead on research in this field due to the Large Hadron Supercollider. Why do we assume that the US is the horse to beat in the race?
Ideally Russia would contribute to the international research efforts that are going on in this field and publishing results rather than duplicating effort. Each country or company can do what they will with the results of the basic research, but that basic research itself is getting too expensive for any individual country to handle by itself.
The RQC seems to be more interested in joining the international scientific and engineering community than "getting ahead" of the U.S., in contrast to the Chinese who admit to wanting to pass the U.S. (which they already have in manufacturing).
Dylan: Good question. I actually think it will be better for the advancement of technology. Think of all the advances that were made in physics during the cold war in astrophysics, nuclear technology, aerospace, etc...
There are a lot of smart people all over the planet, and it's sad to me we tend to think mostly about the ones in the most developed countries. Think where we would be if everyone with a great brain could work to their fullest capacity.
Am I worried about Russia getting ahead of the US? No. I'm worried about CHINA getting ahead of the US, and that will probably happen.
Interesting to see Russia make quantum technology a focus. It really seems like Russia wants to be the place where this technology is developed. The cold war is over, but still. Is that bad for the US?