Russia is considering establishing a base on the moon and possibly manning it with robot avatars.
The chief of the country's space programme, Roscosmos, outlined the idea to Russian state media.
Dmitry Rogozin said the task would be more ambitious than the US' lunar programme of the 1960s and 1970s.
He did not lay out a timescale for the project but Russia is aiming to land its first cosmonaut on the Moon in 2030.
The space agency is planning a number of missions ahead of humans landing on the lunar surface. One of the missions, known as Luna 27, is a collaboration with the European Space Agency.
US space agency NASA also has its eye on the lunar prize, with a plan for Americans to orbit the moon starting in 2023, and land astronauts on the surface no later than the late 2020s.
The agency says that would be the first chance for the majority of people alive today to witness a moon landing.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said last month that the US would love to see the involvement of Russia's Roscosmos in exploring the moon and creating permanent architecture there.