I'm hoping to go to Belarus (Minsk) after the RS tour ending in St.Petersburg. I'm not having much luck figuring out how to get a visa without a letter of invitation, which I don't have. Do I HAVE to have a hotel reservation to get one? If so, can anyone suggest a reasonably good, reasonably cheap one. Thanks!
I'm not an expert, but everything I've read indicates that the process for getting a Belorussian visa is almost identical to the one for getting a Russian visa - including the need for a letter of invitation. This letter can be from a hotel for a "tourist" visa, or from a sponsoring agency in the case of a "business" visa. Whoever is helping you with your Russian visa will probably also know what to do for a Belorussian visa - I'd start with them.
Thanks, Harold! I'll check with the Rick Steves tour folks, then. Marfa