Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent the Kyoto Protocol on climate change to parliament, bringing the pact one step closer to ratification.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov told reporters Thursday the Duma could begin considering the treaty as early as this month and could conclude the ratification process by the end of the year.

Russian ratification of the 1997 global warming draft agreement would give it the necessary support to become a working international treaty.

The pact 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.