The Tirana municipality decided to rename the street on which the Russian and Ukrainian embassies are located as Free Ukraine Street, in support of Kyiv’s resistance to Moscow’s invasion.

Albanian Capital Renames Street by Russian Embassy ‘Free Ukraine’

The newly-named Free Ukraine street. Photo: Erion Veliaj.

The mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj wrote on Twitter on Monday that the street on which the Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian and Kosovo embassies stand in the Albanian capital is now called Free Ukraine Street.

“The Serbia war on Kosovo and the Russian war on Ukraine have defined our generation. The street will define our city,” Veliaj said.

“All embassies will need to change their business cards,” he added.

There has been no reaction from the Russian embassy in Tirana so far, but on Monday Russia included Albania on a list of what it described as “enemy states”.

Albania on February 27 joined EU sanctions on Russia, including asset freezes on over 650 individuals and a complete ban on Russian flights.

Economic sanctions include measures in the finance, energy, transport and technology fields. Albania also joined the EU and Britain in closing its airspace to all aircraft registered in Russia, excluding only cases in which flights need to take place for an emergency, humanitarian or medical purposes.

Albania joined the EU in imposing sanctions on the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and members of Russia’s National Security Council.

“Economic sanctions include restrictive measures in finance, energy, transport and technology. In total, these restrictive measures will apply to 654 individuals and 52 entities,” said Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Olta Xhacka.

Albania’s honorary consulate in the Albanian city of Kharkiv was demolished by Russian missiles on Sunday, and Xhacka said that “the perpetrators should be held accountable”.

Albania’s parliament approved a resolution that supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine on Monday. The vote on the resolution was unanimous.

An MP from the Social Movement for Integration, SMI party, Petrit Vasili, asked that the resolution should include a request to parliament for the Albanian government “to take Albania out of the Open Balkan initiative”, which includes Serbia, for as long as “Serbia maintains its support for Russia”. His suggestion was not approved.

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