A third line of great importance is the junction line between the Transcaucasian railway - which runs from Batum and Poti to Baku, via Tiflis, with a branch line to Kars - and the railway system of Russia proper.
It is connected by rail with the south Russian railway system at Beslan, the junction for Vladikavkaz (400 m.), via Derbent and Petrovsk, with Batum (560 m.) and Poti (536 m.) on the Black Sea via Tiflis.
It is in this valley that the principal towns (except Vladikavkaz at the north foot of the Caucasus) of Caucasia are situated, namely, Baku (179,133 inhabitants in 1900), Tiflis (160,645 in 1897), Kutais (32,492), and the two Black Sea ports of Batum (28,512) and Poti (7666).
The highest mean temperatures for the whole year are those of Lenkoran (60.3°) and of Sukhum-kaleh and Poti (about 58°), and the lowest at Ardahan (5840 ft.), in the province of Kars, namely, 37.9°, and at Gudaur (7245 ft.), a few miles south of Kasbek, namely, 38.6°.
The exports through the Black Sea ports of Batum, Poti and Novo-rossiysk average in value a little over £ro,000,000 annually, though showing a tendency to increase slightly.
This railway, together with the driving roads over the Caucasus mountains via the Mamison pass (the Ossetic military road) and the Darial pass (the Georgian military road), and the route across the Black Sea to Poti or Batum are the chief means of communication between southern Russia and Transcaucasia.
Baku and Batum (also Poti) are connected by another main line, 560 m.
The dispute, at first of little importance, developed in seriousness during the next year or two, owing to the avowed intention of Russia, which by conquest or treaties with independent chiefs had acquired all the high land between the Caspian and the Black Sea, to take possession of the low lands along the coast, between Anapa and Poti, of which the sultan claimed the sovereignty.
The Treaty of Adrianople, by which the Danubian principalities were erected into practically independent states, the treaty rights of Russia in the navigation of the Bosporus Anapa and Poti in Asia ceded to the tsar, included also a settlement of the Greek question on the terms of the protocol of the 22nd of March.
The chief rivers are the Rion, which enters the Black Sea at Poti; the Chorokh, which enters the same sea at Batum; and the Ingur, the Kodor and the Bzyb, also flowing into the Black Sea in Abkhasia.
A railway runs from the Caspian Sea, via Tiflis and the Suram tunnel, to Kutais, and thence to Poti and Batum, and from Kutais to the Tkvibuli coal and manganese mines.
The export of both local produce and goods shipped by rail from other ports of Transcaucasia is considerable, Batum and Poti being the two chief ports of Caucasia.
The lighter oil is conveyed to Batum on the Black Sea in pipes, and is there shipped for export; the heavier oils reach the same port and the ports of Novorossiysk and Poti, also on the Black Sea, in tank railway-cars.
POTI, a seaport of Russian Transcaucasia, in the government of Kutais, at the mouth of the Rion on the coast of the Black Sea, 193 m.
Above the level of the river, Poti is extremely unhealthy, fever and ague prevailing in summer and autumn.
Poti represents the ancient Phasis, a commercial colony of the Greek city of Miletus.
The more important passes, proceeding from west to east, are Pshekh (5435 ft.) west of Oshten, and Shetlib (6060 ft.) east of Oshten, Pseashka (6880 ft.) east of Shuguz, Sanchar (7990 ft.) west of Psysh; and between the last-named mountain and Elbruz, facilitating communication between Sukhum-Kaleh (and the coast as far as Poti) and the upper valley of the Kuban, are the passes of Marukh (11,500 ft.), Klukhor (9450 ft.) and Nakhar (9 61 5 ft.).
Novo-rossiysk, Gelenjik, Anapa, Sukhum-Kaleh, Poti and Batum.