A wonderful example occurred June 3-7, when Mariella and I visited Odessa, one of my favorite cities in Ukraine. This was my third time in the famed seaside town.

Like last summer, the main purpose of the visit was to support the joint U.S.-Ukrainian naval exercises known as Sea Breeze, but our time was spent doing much more. We had a very busy weekend, joining a group of Ambassadors for part of a program organized by the Ukrainian Directorate General for Services of Foreign Missions (GDIP).

For example, on Friday evening we were treated to a performance at the Odessa Opera House, which I have been told is a close architectural cousin of the opera in Vienna. Mariella and I are both great fans of the ballet, and seeing Odessa’s young ballet stars up close was a wonderful experience.

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