CIS states should create a single economic space like the European Union, a Russian presidential advisor on legal affairs said on Wednesday.
"We are interested in the [CIS] countries being in some large economy," Veniamin Yakovlev said, adding that it is unnecessary to unite politically.
"However, I think it is essential to unite behind having a large economy," he continued.
The CIS, a loose association of post-Soviet countries, consists of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
"In the framework of the Soviet Union we had a large economy, one of the largest in the world," he said. "We do not have such an economic space now, we have divided it into national borders."
He said a single economic space is essential as "no one will save us and help" the CIS countries. He also added that the CIS could use the experience of the EU.
Yakovlev said that large economies had been able to withstand the global financial crisis better.
Last week, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko said Ukraine did not intend to join a customs union being established by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, but supported the idea of free trade among former Soviet republics adding that Ukraine's accession to the proposed Customs Union would go against Ukraine's commitments as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In January 2009, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan agreed to create a single economic space by January 1, 2012.
In June 2009, the heads of governments of the countries notified the WTO of their intention to join the world trade club as a customs union. In October 2009, the three ex-Soviet republics announced they would hold talks on WTO accession separately, but on synchronized positions.
The three ex-Soviet republics suspended their bilateral negotiations on WTO entry to hold consultations on a common position on the customs union.
YEKATERINBURG, May 19 (RIA Novosti)