The top-performing exchange traded fund (ETF) for May was Market Vectors Russia (RSX). Year-to-date, it’s up 14.7%.

It’s just the latest good news for a country that’s currently enjoying a 10-year economic expansion. Its gross domestic product has soared to $1.7 trillion in 2007, from less than $200 billion in 1999.

Goldman Sachs predicts that Russia’s economy will overtake Britain, France and Germany in the next few decades to become Europe’s largest economy, reports Guy Faulconbridge for Reuters.

But can Russia sidestep its minefields? The country is rife with corruption, prices are soaring and there’s a possibility of political instability in the future. Some Kremlin officials wold also like to diversify the economy beyond its energy exports. On paper, it looks like they’re going in the right direction. Russia has even set a goal for itself of being one of the world’s top five economies by 2020.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, for his part, says he will concentrate on economic and social policy to ensure that the macro-economic stability achieved when he was in office remains.

Jeff Benjamin for Investment News says that Russia can be a double-edged sword for investors: big gains coupled with an uncertain fledgling democracy. While RSX is a pure play, for investors who’d rather have broader exposure, there are other options, such as the Claymore/BNY BRIC (EEB). It contains a 4.9% exposure to Russia, along with larger weightings in Brazil (53.7%), China (19.9%) and Hong Kong (12.4%). Year-to-date, it’s up 2.5%.

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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.