DUSHANBE , July 24, 2008, Asia-Plus - Russia is ready to discuss the opening of a full-format office of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at its territory, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists after the Russia-ASEAN summit on Wednesday.

“If we speak about the opening of a full-format office of ASEAN as an international organization with the relevant status and powers, we are ready to constructively study this request,” he said.

Lavrov stressed that ASEAN would take all expenses for the functioning of the office.

Russia will appoint its envoy to ASEAN after the association’s Charter enters into force,” he said.

Russia believes that institutional changes inside the association will have a positive effect on the development of our dialogue partnership. We hope that our joint efforts will help us create necessary conditions for holding the second Russia-ASEAN summit. The need for this summit is evident,” the minister said.