It will be easier to visit Russia in the near future. The Russian government plans to introduce electronic visas for foreigners. The decision on the introduction of electronic visas for foreign tourists can be made until the end of 2019. Russia is a visa-free country for citizens of more than 100 countries (on the basis of reciprocity).
Citizens of many countries are forced to get a visa to visit Russia. Complicated paperwork requires a lot of time and increases the total cost of travel.
It will be much easier to get an electronic visa. Everything can be done without leaving home, online. It is possible that by e-visa it will be possible to visit not all regions of Russia. Most likely, the first cities that the owner of an e-visa can visit will be Moscow and St. Petersburg.
According to available forecasts, the introduction of electronic visas can increase the number of foreign tourists visiting Russia by 30%. How much will the e-visa cost and its validity is still unknown.
In fact, electronic visas are already applied. Tourists from 18 countries can visit some cities in the Far East of Russia by e-visa from 2017. More than 68 thousand visas have already been issued. It is necessary to submit an application on a specialized website four days before the intended entry. Such a visa is free now. The maximum period of stay in Russia is 8 days for such visas.
This is preliminary information, subject to change. Passengers of cruise liners have the opportunity to visit St. Petersburg without a visa in some cases.
Latest information: on April 1, 2019, it was reported that the issuance of electronic visas to foreign tourists can be launched from the beginning of 2020.