Anatoly Pakhomov: "Our main investors are tourists"
Yesterday's meeting of the Diplomatic Club at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry was dedicated to the pearl of the Black Sea coast - the city of Sochi. Sochi mayor Anatoly Pakhomov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, said that the last time he spoke to graduates of the Diplomatic Academy in 2012: "I was asked: "Do you have time to prepare for the 2014 Olympics?" Today's meeting took place after we successfully held the Olympics and became the venue for numerous events".
"Now our guests from around the world visit us. We are proud of the city, of course, proud of its capabilities. Today it is a mountain resort, beach resort, we have hydrotherapy treatments. I invited our and foreign diplomats on vacation in Sochi. Because Sochi is great at any time of year and is available for all budgets. Our main task is to socialize, invite people, talk them about our possibilities. It's both honor and responsibility for me - to address the audience, which have seen a lot in life, which can then promote our resort in their countries, their cities," Anatoly Pakhomov said.
According to Pakhomov, a unique Olympic legacy was left after the Games: "Each object became an object of the resort's promotion. This Olympic heritage allowed us to become a year-round resort for the first time. Last year, 6.5 million people visited us. The mountain resorts, which were built for the Olympic Games, and the reconstruction of sanatoriums helped it. Today, 65 sanatoriums recuperate our guests all year round. A huge number of sports, cultural and events are held in the city. In 2017 we held the Military World Games, Formula One, on June 19 the Cup of the Confederation will be held, the New Wave festival will open in September, and the World Festival of Youth and Students will be held on October 14-24. It gives us the opportunity to develop our economy, because Sochi's economy is tourism. Our main investors are tourists".
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, welcoming the participants of the meeting, expressed the opinion that regular meetings at this site are an excellent opportunity for diplomats, businessmen and the general public to discuss issues on the international agenda, as well as learn more about the Russian Federation's multifaceted heritage, its individual regions. "Thanks to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi has established itself as a major international tourist and sports center with a developed infrastructure, which has everything necessary for comfortable rest all year round. Diplomats promised to continue providing the necessary support to the administration of Sochi in the development of its diverse relations with foreign partners," Lavrov promised.
Rector of the Diplomatic Academy Yevgeny Bazhanov studied in the secondary school No. 4 of Sochi in 1954-1964, graduating with a silver medal: "In 1964 I entered the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Once we had a ski test in the Sokolniki Park. But I did not even know what skis looked like, let alone use them. I took off my skis and decided to go like this from the starting line to the finish line, because I did not know that if you walk on snow without skis, you fall into it. I fell into snow, lost orientation, barely got out, but then a girl came up on skis, helped me to get up and brought to the finish line. When I returned to Sochi, I told my friends about what had happened to me. Nobody was surprised, because nobody in Sochi knew how to ski ... However, exactly half a century later, Sochi hosted the Winter Olympic Games. Young people in Sochi learned how to ski, play hockey and other winter sports. Some Sochi residents are already part of our sports elite in winter sports. The Olympic Games were brilliant. "
The second achievement of Sochi in recent years, according to Bazhanov, was the reconstruction of the city: "In the 1990s my Muscovite friends returned from Sochi in a very bad mood. They said that Sochi was falling apart, everything was dilapidated. Now my friends want to visit Sochi very much, they visit it five or six times and admire it. Everything has changed, the city looks great and became the visiting card of our state. "
According to Bazhanov, Sochi has became the center of sports, cultural and political life of the country: "Our leaders meet regularly with the leaders of other countries in Sochi, they hold the most serious negotiations there. Sochi is a very safe city, maybe one of the safest in the Russian Federation. Recently an American told me: "You know, I was in Sochi, it's a strange city. You walk at night and you fear nothing. I was even a little upset". Sochi is a tolerant city, 120 different peoples live there ... 92% of Sochi territory are green plantations, a protected area ... As a result, Sochi was called the third capital of our country. And not only by Russians, but also by our foreign friends. When I meet with diplomats and scientists, and say that I have something to do with Sochi, I feel that my rating is rising in the eyes of these people. There is such a Chinese aphorism: "Sailing the seas depends on the helmsman". Sochi's helmsman is its Mayor Anatoly Nikolayevich Pakhomov, who has headed and developed the city for 9 years".
The meeting of the Diplomatic Club was colored by the performance of the only female Cossack ensemble in Russia - the Cossack Song Ensemble 'Ljubo', a concert of the Rachmaninov String Quartet, a performance of the soloist of the Sochi Philharmonic, the winner of the All-Russian Music Television competition Aleksey Ganiyarov, as well as an exhibition of works by students of art schools and professional artists of Sochi.