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Albania investigates intruders from Russia and Ukraine army base

Albania investigates intruders from Russia and Ukraine army base

  • Albania is investigating the motives of two Russians and a Ukrainian who attempted to enter a military factory.
  • The incident resulted in an altercation that hospitalised two Albanian soldiers.
  • Prime Minister Edi Rama said the three people were “suspected of espionage,” but he did not elaborate.

Albania is investigating the motives of two Russians and a Ukrainian who attempted to enter a military factory, resulting in an altercation that hospitalised two Albanian soldiers who attempted to stop the intruders.

The defence ministry said late Saturday that two soldiers were slightly injured while detaining a 24-year-old Russian man who had entered the grounds of the Gramsh military facility in central Albania and was attempting to take photographs.

“The Russian national reacted physically and he also used a spray, which injured the two soldiers who managed to warn the police,” Defence Minister Niko Peleshi said after visiting the troops in the hospital.

Two others, a 33-year-old Russian woman and a 25-year-old Ukrainian man, were apprehended nearby.

It was too early to speculate on their motivation, but Peleshi suggested a possible link to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the Albanian government has condemned.

“In view of the broad regional context and the geopolitical context, this cannot be dismissed as just as an ordinary, civilian incident. But we cannot rush to conclusions,” he said on Sunday.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said the three people were “suspected of espionage,” but he did not elaborate.

Albania has been a NATO member since 2019.

Since the outbreak of the Ukrainian conflict, the country has joined other Western countries in condemning Russia and imposing sanctions on it.

The three suspects, according to Tirana-based media, were bloggers who frequently visited abandoned military bases and other factories in various countries.

During communist rule in Albania, the Gramsh plant manufactured Russian-designed AK-47 assault rifles.

According to the ministry’s website, the factory now offers manufacturing services to the defence industry. It was previously used to dismantle small arms and ammunition.

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