In the city of Kucova, Albania a Soviet-era airbase was rebuilt and reopened to service NATO aircraft due to “probable threats to the region from Russia,” Reuters reported.

“This is a base that (will add) another element of security for our Western Balkans region which we all know it is a region endangered from the threat and neo-imperialist ambitions of the Russian Federation,” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama is quoted saying during the inauguration of the Kucova Air Base on Monday, March 4.

Two NATO fighter jets from Italy, which, along with Greece, protect the airspace over the Adriatic country arrived at the base to mark the reopening, Reuters reported.

As reported, NATO spent over €50 million ($54.26 million) to ready the air base, which, during the USSR, housed Soviet and Chinese fighter jets in case of war with Western countries.


In addition, Albania is negotiating with NATO on the construction of a naval base in Porto-Romano on the coast of the Adriatic Sea.

Meanwhile, the NATO military exercises “Nordic Response 2024,” involving more than 20,000 servicemen from 13 countries, in Finland, Norway and Sweden, started March 3 and will last until March 15.

Finland joined the military alliance following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on April 4 of last year. And on Feb. 26, the Hungarian National Assembly, which was the last holdout, voted to approve Sweden’s membership.

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Correcting himself, Biden said, “We’re gonna beat President Putin. President Zelensky.” Zelensky responded with a handshake, saying, “I am better,” Biden replied, “You are a helluva lot better.”

“Sweden is now leaving 200 years of neutrality and nonalignment behind us,” AP quotes Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson saying. “It is a big step. We must take that seriously. But it is also a very natural step that we are taking.”

On Feb. 28, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky co-hosted the Ukraine–Southeastern Europe Summit in Tirana with Rama. Zelensky asked those in attendance, 10 leaders or high-level representatives primarily from the Balkans to produce military equipment to help Ukraine fight Russia.

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