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BERLIN, February 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Sochi twin-town Baden-Baden in southern Germany will hoist the Olympic flag and the flag of Russia’s Black Sea resort during the Winter Olympic Games, Baden-Baden Mayor Wolfgang Gerstner said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
“It is always a great honor for every city to host the Olympic Games,” he said. “The Games are a symbol of unification, as sport unites people. Being an Olympic city [in 1981, Baden-Baden hosted an Olympic Congress] we, of course, share Sochi’s joy and as a sign of close friendship between Baden-Baden and Sochi we will hoist the Olympic flag and the flag of Sochi during the Games.”
After Berlin, Russia rates Baden-Baden as Germany’s second famous city, the mayor said. "It has age-old traditional relations with Russia,” Gerstner noted. “Many Russian writers and poets such as Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol, Turgenev and Zhukovsky visited Baden-Baden while touring Germany. Historical relations between noble families of Russia and Baden-Baden also make our city attractive for Russian guests.”
“Partnership between Sochi and Baden-Baden is firstly aimed at unifying the two cities’ public institutions with common goals and interests,” he added. “We will work on building a network of residents which should be supported by associations, young people, musicians, athletes, cultural institutions, firms, social and economic organizations and many other institutions. Thus, we will make our people closer, remove prejudice and lay the groundwork for personal friendship.”
Joint education projects are important, Gerstner said, noting existing initiatives in sport or music. "Two young athletes from Baden-Baden are staying in the German Olympic Youth Camp organized in Sochi by the German Olympic Academy," he said. "Musicians from Baden-Baden have repeatedly taken part in Sochi’s Organ Music Festival. Moreover, there are no vacant seats on a trip annually organized to Soch,” he concluded.