Australian Greenpeace campaigner Colin Russell says he is looking forward to a normal life after being allowed to leave Russia.
An Australian activist detained in Russia for three months says he can’t wait to return to normal life – including mowing the lawn and sleeping on his own pillow.
Colin Russell, 59, was one of 30 activists arrested and detained in September for protesting against a Russian oil rig operated by Moscow-based energy company Gazprom in the Pechora Sea.
Known as the Arctic 30, the group, made up of 28 Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists, had been accused of hooliganism.
The charges were dropped last week after the Russian parliament passed an amnesty law and freed the defendants.
Russian authorities granted Mr Russell an exit visa on Friday night, allowing him to return home to Tasmania.
Mr Russell, a radio operator, said he was happy it was finally over.
“So are the girls,” he said via a Greenpeace spokesman in St Petersburg on Friday night.
“(I) can’t wait to get back to normal, throw the stick for George the dog, mow the lawn, sleep on my own pillow.
“My whole life is waiting for me.” Greenpeace communications manager James Lorenz told AAP Mr Russell was enormously relieved to be going home.
“It’s been a long time.”
Mr Russell is expected to fly to Amsterdam, where Greenpeace International is based, with his wife Christine and daughter Madeleine.
He will arrive in Australia on January 2.
Britain-born Australian resident Alex Harris and Adelaide resident Jon Beauchamp were also granted exit visas.
“We’re leaving Russia, it’s over, we’re finally truly free,” Ms Harris, 27, said in a statement.
“It feels like the moment I’ve been waiting for, and my family too, but also for millions of people around the world who have worked for this, and I simply cannot find the words to say how grateful and humbled I am by their support.
“People I will never meet have campaigned for our release – they wrote emails, they marched, they protested, they made a noise that became deafening, even in the Kremlin.
“I promise I will repay those people by using my freedom to stand up for the Arctic.”