Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc plans to open 180 dual-branded Wendy's and Arby's restaurants in Russia over the next 10 years, becoming the latest U.S. fast food chain to look to that market for growth.

The company, which has forecast a decline in sales this year at its established restaurants, will open the restaurants with local franchisee Wenrus Restaurant Group Ltd. Wenrus is an affiliate of Russia's Food Service Capital, which runs 28 restaurants in Russia, the Ukraine and Britain, including Goodman Steak Houses.

Wendy's/Arby's Chief Executive Roland Smith said Russia offers significant long-term expansion potential and that the company chose Wenrus because of its knowledge of Russia's food service market.

In May, Wendy's/Arby's reported a narrower quarterly loss as a slight increase in Wendy's North America same-restaurant sales mitigated some of the 11.5 percent drop in same-restaurant sales at Arby's restaurants.

Wendy's/Arby's has about 10,000 restaurants in 24 countries.

Rival McDonald's Corp , which on Monday reported strong July sales in part because of robust business overseas, opened its first Russian restaurant in 1990 and now has 240 restaurants there.

Russia is McDonald's fastest growing market, accounting for around 4 percent of global sales. Earlier this year, McDonald's said annual sales in Russia had grown by about 20 percent in the last five years and that it would add about 45 stores there.

McDonald's has about a 70 percent share of Russia's quick-service restaurant market.

In January, Burger King and its Russian franchisee, Burger Rus LLC, opened that chain's first Russian restaurant. They plan to open at least five Burger King restaurants in Moscow within two years.

Wendy's/Arby's Chairman Nelson Peltz, the chain's largest shareholder, said in June that an unnamed party had expressed interest in a potential deal, raising speculation that the chain could be the target of a potential takeover.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Derek Caney and John Wallace)