ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says he hopes members of the Commonwealth of Independent States will join Glonass, Russia's global positioning system.
Speaking in Ashgabat in Turkmenistan, Putin said he was optimistic CIS states would "take an interest in this project," RIA Novosti reported Thursday.
"This system has the capability to provide considerable benefits in the economic sphere, since it reduces cargo transportation costs on all transportation systems, and it definitely increases the safety of all types of transportation," Putin said at a meeting of CIS leaders.
The CIS is a loose organization of former Soviet republics that includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
Glonass, Russia's version of the U.S. Global Positioning System, is designed for both military and civilian use.
Russia currently has 31 Glonass satellites in orbit, with 24 operational and the rest held in reserve.