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Albanian PM blames West for delays and restrictions in supporting Ukraine

Wednesday, 28 February 2024, 09:42
Albanian PM blames West for delays and restrictions in supporting Ukraine
Edi Rama Prime Minister of Albania. Stock photo: Getty Images

The Western Balkans are ready to contribute to the fight against Russia amid European and Western delays and restrictions on aid.

Source: Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in an interview on the eve of the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to his country, as reported by European Pravda, citing Euractiv.

Rama added that the role of the Western Balkans is becoming even more important for the EU as they begin to realise this in the face of a common enemy, Vladimir Putin:


"As much as we need you, you need us. Why? First and foremost, for what is dearest to you – security," he said.

Zelenskyy has arrived in Tirana for the Ukraine-Southeast Europe summit on Wednesday (28 February), followed by the EU-Western Balkans summit the next day, which is expected to focus on the EU's new Growth and Stability Plan.

Asked what Tirana could offer against the backdrop of Ukraine fatigue, problems reaching consensus at EU level on funding, unfulfilled ammunition commitments, indecision on some forms of military support, and various vetoes and delays, Rama called on the West to take responsibility for the current state of affairs.

"Looking to our countries, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina that are in full solidarity with Ukraine, will say something to the bigger, richer guys. Their pledges are there, their engagement is there, but I am not sure the excuse of all these delays and constraints can stand for much longer," Rama said.

"Everyone has to deliver,"  he added.

The Albanian prime minister said he did not believe that the summit and the region's engagement would change the pace of developments for the entire democratic community, but he would not underestimate the contribution and impact they could have.

"We are doing our job", he added.

The summit will be attended by regional leaders from Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia, although Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will not attend, instead sending "a representative at a low diplomatic level".


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a telephone conversation with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on 19 January.

During the conversation, Zelenskyy thanked Albania for its clear position on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, support in the UN Security Council, as well as defence and political support.

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