THREE Kutaisi residents are visiting Newport this week ahead of the Wales vs Georgia game on Sunday.
Kutaisi, in Georgia, is one of Newport’s twinned cities which gave two teenagers – Give Mukbaniani, aged 14, and Baaka Gibradze, aged 15 – and their leader, Nicoloz Rukhadze, an excuse to visit the city.
Mr Rukhadze, aged 32, said: “It’s our first time in the UK, everything is very fine and the people are nice and warm.”
They arrived on Tuesday and in the evening went to see Newport County play against Swansea.
“The football was very good,” said Baaka. “I also like the Kutaisi Walk, it’s in the centre of the city.”
Yesterday, the visitors had a tour around Newport, met the mayor, went to Caerleon and spent the evening bowling.
Among other events this week, they will also be going to the Celtic Manor Resort and Barry Island.
On Sunday, they’ll be escorting the Georgian national team on to the pitch.
“It’s really good that we have a friendship with this country,” said Mr Rukhadze. “This is very important for Kutaisi.
“Our city and our country is very small, it’s good to have another nation that knows about us.”
Members of Newport's Kutaisi Twinning Association (NKTA) recently visited their city to celebrate 25 years of the twinning.
While there, members of the association visited Kutaisi's main street, renamed to Newport Street 15 years ago.