I am a French citizen going to Russia for a 6 day scientific conference. I have an official invitation letter (all in Russian) from the organizers, I have booked hotel and plane, and I am now looking at visa information… and it's driving me crazy! The sheer complexity of the system makes me imagine that it may be a scheme to drive unemployment down by hiring thousands of civil servants.
My specific question is: what are the differences between a tourist and business visa?
Business visas apparently allow longer stays, multiple entries, etc. Given that my stay will be short and simple (I come to Moscow, stay in Moscow, leave from Moscow), should I ask for a business visa or can I get a slightly less expensive tourist visa?