Vladimir Putin, who plans to seek his third term as president in an election in March 2012, outlined last month his vision for the new body which would build on an existing Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Speaking to Russian pensioners and World War Two veterans in the Kremlin ahead of a parliamentary election in just over two weeks, President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin played up their nostalgia about Soviet times.
"You remember the kind of words that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was a very hard, sad time," Medvedev said. "We are working now to unite on a new basis, and I am certain that this union will have a very good future."