Arberi

Expectations for more security in the Balkans after the inauguration of NATO's tactical air base in Albania

Descriptive Text

Kuçova air base in Albania was reactivated on Monday and will serve NATO. The over 50-million investment was inaugurated with an official ceremony. The base was estimated to serve to increase security throughout the Western Balkans 

The North Atlantic Alliance, NATO, has established a tactical air base in Kuçovo, Albania.
At the inauguration ceremony of the base, on Monday, the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, said that it will serve to increase security throughout the Western Balkans. 
He said that Italy and Turkey have made a special contribution to the opening of the base, which have helped Albania with planes.
"Albania is on the other side, welcoming with respect its allies and partners, in an alliance that is first of all an alliance of values ​​to guarantee peace... A base, which is another element of security for our Western Balkan region, which we know it is quite endangered by the Russian Federation. The reactivation of this airport is a continuation of the growth of our air fleet", said Rama.
Lieutenant General Juan Pablo Sanchez de Lara, commander of NATO's Combined Air Operations Center at Torrejon Air Base in Spain, stated that Albania has the capacity to take responsibility to protect security and peace. 
"From our center, we are very committed to protecting NATO's skies. Albania has been fully integrated into the NATO air defense system in 2018, as part of its effort to increase interoperability and integration with the North Atlantic Alliance, with the aim of ensuring international peace and security", he emphasized.
The Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Albania, Arben Kingji, declared that this base will play an important role in responding to threats from abroad.
The Minister of Defense of Kosovo, Ejup Maqedonci, was part of the ceremony. According to him, the base will curb any danger coming from opponents of stability in the region.
"I appreciate that for Albania in particular, but also for the entire Western Balkans, the presence of such a tactical air base in Albania is of great strategic importance. Especially to create a safe environment in the Western Balkans, but at the same time to curb the danger that may come from the opponents of stability in the Western Balkans", Macedonci emphasized.
This air base was built in 1950, but in recent decades it was not operational. The works for its reconstruction started in January 2022. NATO has invested about 50 million euros, while the Government of Albania over 5 million euros.