Presidential candidate Mikheil Saakashvili said that he was willing to bet with Russian colleagues that Batumi, and not Sochi, would be the Black Sea region’s best city.
Saakashvili, on the campaign trail in Batumi, the capital of the Adjaran Autonomous Republic, made his remarks on December 18 in front of thousands of supporters.
‘Sochi is an Olympic city and billions are now being invested there,’ Saakashvili said. ‘The Russians want to turn Sochi into the most beautiful and most successful city in the Black Sea region. But today, I’m betting with our friends and colleagues in Russia that by 2013 – when my second and final presidential term expires – that the most beautiful and most successful city in the Black Sea region will not be Sochi, but my Batumi, and I’ll do it together with you.’
He also told the crowd that during his four years as President he ‘had always stood right beside Batumi’ and now he wanted ‘Batumi to stand beside’ [him] on January 5.’