© Sputnik / Vera Kostamo
Russia plans to join global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by finally ratifying the Paris climate agreement before the end of 2019, Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Gordeev said.

"We're are preparing ratification of the document in accordance to our internal legislative proceedings. We plan to complete this work ... by the end of 2019," Gordeev told journalists.

Gordeev also praised the Paris climate deal as a "sustainable international legal base" for long-term climate regulation. According to the vice PM, Russia has an ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 75 percent of 1990 levels by 2019. Russia also aims to keep gas emissions at the same level for the next 35 years.

Russia, the world's fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter, signed the Paris climate agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C, in April 2016 along with other countries. In November 2016 the country's government introduced a road map for ratification, including assessment of economic effects of the agreements and possible changes in the energy policy.

Head of the Climate and Energy Program at WWF Russia, Alexey Kokorin, praised the plan to ratify the document soon. He told RT that it is happening because all parties such as authorities, scientists and entrepreneurs agreed on its significance.

Comment: That may not actually be the case. Russia has been put in a fragile position with regard to its international relations, and it could be they are just choosing what battles they can fight and win.

"Russia just needs to continue carrying out its sustainable development plans, which include increasing energy efficiency or modernization of thermal power plants by 2030. This would be a very decent contribution," said Kokorin.

He added that ratifying the Paris climate deal would also help Russian businesses participate in sustainable development projects and attract new investors.

Thus far, 184 states and the EU ratified the document. However, the US became the only country to backtrack on the global efforts to tackle emissions. In August 2017, US President Donald Trump announced the country's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in accordance with his campaign promises and the 'America First' policy, saying it would help US industries, in particular coal mining.