The Russian government says Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov has signed an order approving the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
The move allows President Vladimir Putin to submit the document to parliament for debate.
The speaker of the upper house of parliament, Sergei Mironov, says he believes lawmakers will approve the measure.
The Russian cabinet approved the document last week, and Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov has said parliament will debate it later this month.
The 1997 protocol aims to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that are blamed for global warming.
To go into force, it must be ratified by countries that account for 55 percent of global emissions. The United States has rejected the protocol, but Russia's approval would allow it to go into effect.