MOSCOW, April 5 (Reuters) - U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc has let caution thwart its ambitions in Russia, and will find profits harder to come by if it delays getting a foothold in the vast market catering to 140 million people. Here is a look back at Wal-Mart's attempts to enter Russia over the past decade: 2002 - Wal-Mart for the first time expresses interest in the Russian market. Its representatives take part in Russian retail conferences and meet then Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. 2005 - Lee Scott, then the CEO of Wal-Mart, tells the Financial Times the retailer is looking at Russia along with Poland and Hungary as part of its European expansion strategy. 2006 - Wal-Mart is reported to be in talks to buy the Ramstore chain from Turkish company Koc Holding. 2008 - Wal-Mart opens an office in Moscow and joins Russia's retail industry lobby AKORT. A source with an investment bank advising Wal-Mart says it is in acquisition talks with Russian chains that may need a cash injection. May 2010 - Wal-Mart is in talks to buy Lenta, a St Petersburg-based hypermarket chain part-owned by U.S. private equity fund TPG Capital, sources tell Reuters. August 2010 - Sources say privately-owned discounter Kopeika is in talks with both Wal-Mart and X5 Retail Group o ver a potential sale of the business. December 2010 - Wal-Mart closes its Moscow office, citing a lack of acquisition opportunities, a week after X5 clinches a $1.65 billion deal for Kopeika. October 2011 - Wal-Mart appoints Lev Khasis, former CEO of X5, as senior vice president for international operations. Feb. 13, 2012 - Khasis tells the Russia Today TV channel that "... one day Wal-Mart should be in Russia but I don't think it'll be in short term perspective like one or two years" and that "the only way of entering the Russian market now is buying some of the existing players". Feb. 14 - A report in a St Petersburg-based Russian magazine says Wal-Mart is in talks to buy the Karusel hypermarket chain from X5, which denies the report. Feb. 15 - Wal-Mart says the company has no announcements and that it will continue "to watch for the right market-entry opportunity".