03:36 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Passengers inside the renovated Pulkovo-1 airport terminal.

    Brit Stuck at Saint Petersburg Airport Yearns to Reunite With Family in Russia

    © Sputnik / Igor Russak
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    Stephen Bird lived in Siberia with his Russian wife and son for eight years and at some point realized that his visa renewal was long overdue.

    The UK Embassy in Moscow is currently assisting Stephen Bird, a British national who got stuck two weeks ago in the transit area of St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport while en route from Irkutsk, where the man’s Russian wife and son live, to his home country, an embassy representative told Sputnik.

    Bird’s goal of arriving safely in Britain to sort things out with documents was destined to be delayed.

    Bird was stopped from boarding an international flight while in Moscow and paid all the cash he had for an air ticket to the Russian northern capital, to try his luck and leave for the UK from there. Upon arrival, he was detained by migration control officials due to an expired Russian residence permit that he had intended to renew back in Britain. 

    The cash-strapped 64-year-old has since been stranded in a transit corridor of Pulkovo International Airport and has also been slapped a £60 (5,000-ruble) penalty by Russian judicial authorities for non-compliance with visa regulations, the court press service told Rossiyskaya Gazeta

    Bird has been refusing to leave the airport premises for fear of coming under migration officials’ sanctions and being further prevented from reuniting with his loved ones.

    The information desk, however, was quick to show compassion and helped Bird contact his family and the UK diplomatic mission, Russian media reported, adding that the Saint Petersburg court  finally allowed the Brit to leave Russia and afterwards return, which is exactly what he plans to do, reports have it.

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    Bird came to Russia eight years back and fell head over heels in love with a Siberian woman from Irkutsk, where the couple finally settled, started a family and gave birth to a child.


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