Italy’s new Honorary Consul of Odesa is Vladyslav Shtamburg, entrepreneur from Dnipro, dealing with food import-export. The news was officially published on Aug. 26 in the Gazzetta Diplomatica and on the Facebook page of the Ukrainian Embassy in Rome.

An Italian diplomatic representation had been missing since the end of the World War II. Until the war, there was a Consulate General of the Kingdom of Italy, which took care of Odesa’s substantial population of Italian origin and protected the local Italian language schools under threat of being closed by the Soviet authorities.

On April 28, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine officially delivered to the new Honorary Consul of the Italian Republic in Odesa the exequatur (the deed by which a state accepts and recognizes a foreign consul, admitting him to exercise his functions in the territory of the state, to enjoy the immunities, and to carry out an activity that produces legal effects in the system of the state itself).

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Deputy Minister Andriy Melnyk, in the presence of the Ambassador of the Italian Republic in Ukraine Pier Francesco Zazo and the Director of the State Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rostyslav Tronenko, read the text of the exequatur and wished the Honorary Consul a fruitful collaboration aimed at deepening Ukrainian-Italian relations.

Italian Ambassador commented: “We are delighted that the Ukrainian authorities have enthusiastically accepted our proposal to appoint honorary consul Vladislav Shtamburg, a recognized professional, a good friend of Italy, who will be able to provide important support to our compatriots and Italian companies in the port city of Odesa and within its consular district. The appointment of Mr. Shtamburg is the first step towards the creation of a network of honorary consulates of Italy in Ukraine, an effective structure at the service of the Italian state, which will be able to provide support over a large territory of Ukraine in the future reconstruction of the country, such as underlined once again during the bilateral conference of April 26, 2023. Italy intends to play a leading role in the process of rebirth of Ukraine.”

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The opening of a diplomatic post is a sign of Italy’s growing interest in the port city that many Italian immigrants helped build in the late 18th century. On Aug. 11, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Italy announced the Italian government’s decision to take on the task to restore the Christian Orthodox Cathedral of Transfiguration of Odesa, the most important religious building of Ukraine’s maritime capital, severely damaged by a Russian rocket on July 23.

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