Source AP ©

Russia claims to host APEC summit only in 2012

Russian officials say that the summit of Pacific Rim leaders in 2007 will endorse the country's plans to host the annual meeting. However, Russia will be able to host the forum not earlier than 2012.

The time lag, Russian Ambassador-at-Large Vasily Dobrovolsky said Monday, was so that the host city would have time to prepare for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Dobrovolsky said that the Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok would be a likely site for the annual APEC event, and that a new venue would have to be built there first.

"We have to think about post-APEC use" of the facilities, Dobrovolsky added.

Options include using the venue for a resort, a university or "perhaps even a casino," he said. "We have too many casinos in Moscow now."

Dobrovolsky was speaking in Sydney, Australia, host of this year's APEC forum.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had broached the idea of hosting APEC at last year's summit in Vietnam. Dobrovolsky said he thought leaders would say yes to the idea this year.