Traditionally, Geoffrey Pyatt was greeted with bread and salt, followed by a tour of the university and a meeting with the university’s students. The students got to ask Geoffrey all kinds of questions to which he gave both humorous and serious answers. The students were interested in getting US visas, as well as the possibility of internship in the USA under simplified programs. Today, some of the senior students of Mariupol State University do go to the US for studying, but they face difficulties obtaining US visas. Students majoring in IR (International Relations) asked the Ambassador whether they could practice at the US Embassy to Ukraine, because they believe this is an excellent career spring board for them.
Victor, a political scientist with the Diplomatic Corp Political Scientists League, asked what braches of Ukraine’s economy Payette believes are the most promising for US investors. The US Ambassador gave no direct answer to the question, urging Ukrainians instead to learn from their Polish neighbors and take advantage of their main asset - fertile land.
The main goal of Mr Pyatt’s visit to Mariupol was to approve a reconstruction project for the Center for Providing Administrative Services. Reconstruction of the Mariupol City Council building has been postponed multiple times after it was burned down to the ground three years ago. After getting funding from the US government, the city authorities started construction work on a center which will provide the city’s residents with all kinds of administrative services. The Center will also house some of the City Council departments and visa-issuing centers, which were previously unavailable in Mariupol. After looking at some of the center’s projects, Geoffrey Payette approved one of them, thus confirming his country’s continued participation in financing the Center’s construction.