Friendly support for Ukrainians from the country of the Balkans – Albania

The countries of the Balkans were among the first to accept Ukrainians, moreover, these countries not so long ago experienced the horrors of war and the oppression of totalitarian regimes. The majority of the region shows support for Ukraine, it is especially noticeable from Albania, where 2.6 thousand Ukrainians have now found protection.

The Republic of Albania supports Ukraine’s course toward membership in the EU and the need to bring to justice all Russian war criminals responsible for actions they have taken against Ukraine and Europe.  

Active condemnation of the full-scale Russian invasion by the Albanian authorities was voiced on February 24. At the same time, Albanian President Illir Matta condemned the actions of the aggressor country, noting that Albania stands with Ukraine. Albania, together with its partners, developed a package of sanctions against Russia.

In June 2022 Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania Edi Rama paid an official visit to Ukraine and attended the districts of Kyiv region liberated from Russian occupants and saw with his own eyes the consequences of Russian military actions in these territories. Edi Rama expressed his support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people and offered his country’s assistance in the reconstruction of houses in Irpin.

The war in Ukraine has angered Albanian society, which expresses its support, so peaceful demonstrations have already become systematic. Regular rallies in support of Ukraine take place outside the Russian embassy in Tirana. Particularly, on February 25, 2022, a large demonstration of solidarity with the Ukrainian people ” No War” took place, which continued on February 27 and 28, with the participation of both Ukrainians and Albanians.

Another action of support for Ukraine took place on March 3, the purpose of which was traditionally to protest against Russia’s invading actions and to demand an end to the war. Non-indifferent citizens, including students, retirees, and businessmen, marched to the Embassy of Ukraine in Tirana, expressing solidarity with Ukraine and offering humanitarian aid.

Unfurling the Ukrainian flag as a sign of solidarity and respect for the courage of Ukrainians has become a tradition among the world community. Albania also joined this tradition, so during another peaceful action on March 6, the participants unfurled a 30-meter Ukrainian flag and marched with it to the russian embassy in Tirana.

In addition to a clear expression of position through actions and the collection of humanitarian aid at demonstrations, the Republic of Albania also announced the possibility for all wishing to enter the foreign legion of the Territorial Defense of Ukraine. Thanks to the active actions of the Ukrainian Ambassador to Albania, there is a consolidation of diplomatic forces in the world.

A powerful symbolic step was the initiative of the city mayor of Tirana to give the street, where the Russian embassy is located, the name “Free Ukraine”. Now, the street after the renaming became popular with tourists in Tirana, taking pictures against the background of the new signpost with the Russian flag on it. Subsequently, Ukrainian flags appeared on the street and the sidewalk was painted in blue and yellow.

Albania transferred €1 million of grant funds to Ukraine, which are directed to finance priority expenditures of the state budget of Ukraine.

Albania remains the most important trade partner of Dnipropetrovsk region. The growing level of partnership relations is confirmed by the bilateral analysis of foreign activities.

The volume of export of goods from Dnipropetrovsk region increased 3.3 times and amounted to $359.1 thousand, which is 1% of total indicator of Ukraine. Albanian enterprises mostly buy glass and glass products, plastics and polymeric materials, mineral fuels, textile materials, etc.

7 enterprises of Dnipropetrovsk region exported their products to the Albanian market, the enterprises of the processing and mining industry and metallurgical complex.

According to the volume of exported products TOP-5 enterprises of exporters are the following:

In turn, 9 importer enterprises of the region mostly bought Albanian goods, namely: vegetables, furniture, shoes, live trees and other plants, etc. The import of goods from Albania to Dnipropetrovsk region increased by 11% and amounted to $201.4 thousand. The share of the region in the import of Ukrainian goods from Albania exceeds 3.5%.

By the volume of imported products TOP-5 includes the following companies importers:

Import operations were mainly carried out by agro-industrial complex, light industry, construction and trade companies.

Source: Information for this article was taken from public online sources and the website of the Main Department of Statistics in Dnipropetrovsk region.