President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree authorizing a six-year government program on "assisting the voluntary immigration of compatriots living abroad" and set up a state commission to oversee the process.
The program offers cash and social benefits to those who come. But it gives only a vague definition of "compatriots."
A Kremlin spokesman said the plan embraced "holders of Russian passports, Russian speakers with dual citizenship, or people who are planning to apply for Russian passports."
It remains unclear whether the incentives would be extended to the millions of non-Russians from former Soviet states, who form the bulk of the mainly illegal immigrants working in Russia or planning to come.
Russia is facing a demographic crisis because of a high mortality and a low birth rate.
Putin has described it the problem as a threat to national security.
(Reuters, RIA Novosti, Interfax)