In just a few days time, the city will find out if it has beaten off competition from locations across the country to host the continent-wide song contest in 2023. As conflict continues in Ukraine, the UK is stepping into the breach to stage next year’s event.
Ahead of the decision being made in the coming weeks, Liverpool’s push has been boosted by the Mayor of its twin city, Odessa, Gennadiy Trukhanov. In a video, Mr Trukhanov sent best wishes from the south-western port city.
He said: “Dear citizens of Liverpool. Our cities are located far from each other but there are things that shorten this distance.
“Odessa and Liverpool are two maritime, free cities. Two architectural pearls that attract millions of tourists annually and also a longstanding friendship and solidarity, originated by our twinning, unite us.
“Odessa is the city where dozens of European cultures and traditions meet each other. We haven’t only absorbed them but enriched them too.”
Liverpool first struck up links with Odessa in 1957 when it was still part of the Soviet Union. City officials maintained an active policy of twinning with other cities following the Second World War where links were forged with the Black Sea port.
At the outbreak of conflict in February, Mayor Joanne Anderson said the thoughts of the people of Liverpool were with “the citizens of Odesa, and the people of Ukraine, whose lives are being devastated.” In his video supporting Liverpool’s bid, Mr Trukhanov said like its twin city, his home has a rich musical heritage of its own.
He said: “Odessa is the birthplace of many world-famous artists and musicians. They say Odessa has notes for any occasion – from opera to jazz.
“Our city was visited by many generations of Liverpudlians who walked along our streets, enjoyed our scenery and savoured our unique cuisine. But today, all of this is under threat.
“Currently melodious, talented and hospitable Odessa is fighting together with the entire Ukraine for our right to live peacefully in our land.” The Odessa Mayor said Liverpool’s candidacy would allow the city’s voices to be hear Europe over.
He added: “In 2023, our country will not be able to host the Eurovision contest. But it does not mean that the voices of Odessan and our song will not resound for the world.
“We believe that our sister city Liverpool is worth hosting this contest, as it perfectly reflects the brightness of the event and demonstrates the true diversity within unity. We absolutely support you and wish you good luck.
“Let the songs of the entire Europe ring over the river Mersey.” A decision on the host city for the contest is expected by the start of October but could come as early as the end of this month.