) on global warming Thursday, clearing the way for the worldwide adoption of the document once the Russian parliament ratifies it as widely expected.
The protocol must be ratified by no fewer than 55 countries that accounted for at least 55 percent of global emissions in 1990, and Russia's participation would tip the scale.
The United States, China and some other big industrial nations have rejected the treaty. It seeks to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which are widely seen as a key factor behind global warming.
In May, President Vladimir Putin (). Many of his advisers have opposed, arguing that joining would stymie Russia's economic growth and make Putin's goal of doubling gross domestic product in a decade out of reach.
A government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the ratification bill would be submitted soon to the lower house of parliament, or State Duma, so it can be ratified before the year's end. The Duma is dominated by the Kremlin-directed United Russia party and approval is almost certain.
Still, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said on a trip to Netherlands Thursday that the Duma would likely have a "difficult debate" on the document — a statement that appeared to signal that the Russian officialdom is still divided on the issue despite the Cabinet's support of the bill.
Putin economic adviser Andrei Illarionov voiced his opposition at the Cabinet meeting.
"It's a political decision, it's a forced decision," Illarionov said, according to the Interfax news agency. "It's not the decision we are making with pleasure."
Some observers have speculated that Russia is jockeying for more favorable terms when rules are worked out for a mechanism under which countries that come in with emissions levels below the targets can sell pollution credits.
In its decision Thursday, the Cabinet said that government ministries and agencies should come up with proposals on how best to fulfill Russia's obligations under the pact.
Russia's emissions have fallen by about a third since 1990, largely because of the post-Soviet industrial meltdown. But pollution has started to rise again because of an economic revival in recent years.