On June 10-13, 2011 a hundred Estonian entrepreneurs, cultural personages and journalists visited the Ukrainian port town Odessa with the public diplomacy mission “Tallinn goes to Odessa”.

The original idea of celebrating the organizer’s birthday in Odessa soon vanished under the vastly growing large scale of the event, and so in 2011 full scale Tallinn culture days took place in Odessa. It was the friendship of Odessa and Tallinn citizens that placed the corner stone to the altruistic public diplomacy institution. This was followed by a visit by Odessa guests to Tallinn in 2012, including around a hundred well-known writers, humorists and journalists from Odessa.

Public diplomacy projects are characterized by citizen initiative and the minimal role of politics and taxpayers’ money. This has allowed to create and execute culture exchange projects which are sovereign but serve national interests at the same time.

For his contribution into developing cultural relations between the two cities, the Mayor of Odessa Alexey Kostusev awarded Meelis Kubits the Honorary «Odessa» Decoration.