One of the better funds with superior performance over many years is the Third Millennium Russia Fund (TMRFX) with focus on the a broad section of the economy, thus reflecting some of the strengths of the Russian economy in oil and utility companies. This fund is good for conservative, long-term investors. Similarly, an ETF, RSX is also available to track the Russian stock market.
Those who are interested in closed-end funds may want to look at the Templeton Russia and East European Fund (TRF). The fund invests 80% of its portfolio in Russia or countries dependent on Russia, and focuses strongly on mining and commodities but does cover the broader economy of Russia as well. Its long-terms returns of 14%+/year is impressive and a safe exposure to a BRIC country.
The Central Europe and Russia Fund (CEE) is a non-diversified closed-end fund that invests about 45% in Russia, and 45% in Central Europe. The fund has had a good five year run, though it lost some ground in the last 12 months - as is to be expected with any aggressive fund. A more conservative choice for the Russian market is the ING Russia Fund (LETRX) that chooses to pursue capital appreciation through investing in undervalued assets when compared with growth prospects, though it is not a true value investing firm. For the last 5 years, the company has returned almost 40% average returns, and for 10 years, has averaged 20%+ returns - both of which are spectacular returns.
Many analysts are pointing to a slowdown in Russian growth, especially since the profits from oil are beginning to plateau. However, Russia has a broad economic base, and infrastructure investment is still booming, and military spending is likely to rise as well - giving many years of growth ahead.
The patient investor will be handsomely rewarded, as with any BRIC country!