the veterans of the antifascist struggle of Albania was awarded with medals on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Victory in the great Patriotic War. The ceremony was held at the Russian Embassy in Tirana, and the awards were handed personally by the head of the Russian diplomatic mission in the Balkan country Mikhail Afanasyev.

the Ambassador addressed the audience with welcoming speech and presented the seven leaders of the guerrilla movement Albania medals. In his speech before the assembled high-ranking diplomat stressed that the struggle of the partisans of Albania and the peoples of the USSR became one of the unifying moments of the heroic past of the two countries. Expressed gratitude to activists of veteran organizations for an objective historical assessment of the preconditions and causes of the Second World War, as well as the promotion of the truth about the exploits of the Soviet people in the war on the pages of the Albanian press. Thanked the veterans for their bravery and heroism in the struggle against fascist and Nazi invaders. In his speech the head of the veteran organization R. Furnace expressed gratitude to the Russian Embassy for organizing the event and commended the decisive contribution of the Soviet people in the Victory over Nazism, and emphasized the importance of preserving historical memory about the Second world war.

meanwhile, in interview to the program “Ilva NAU” on TV channel “Euronews Albania” Mikhail Afanasyev noted the fact that Russia is interested in development of relations with Albania in all directions. “Moscow believes that it has all the necessary prerequisites, he said. – In the modern world the bilateral relations are based on pragmatic and mutually beneficial basis. If you take, for example, Russia’s contacts with other countries in the region – Turkey, Greece, Italy, countries of former Yugoslavia, with most of them Russia supports normal relations, underpinned by active cooperation in the field of economy, culture and science. Unfortunately, with Albania such forms of cooperation are minimized, and it is not the initiative of the Russian side. The last few years, we see no reciprocal movement from the Albanian partners. As you know, for friendship need two sides. Russia is open to cooperation and ready to develop bilateral relations with Albania. From our side, “open the card”: we can offer Albania mutually beneficial cooperation in economy, culture, art, health, science, etc. especially since we already have historical experience of good cooperation and friendship in the 1950s, the Soviet Union played a major role in restoring the national economy of Albania, the creation of entire industries, as well as the development of culture, education and science. This is the basis that we will continue to develop. And the question about who and why m��increases cooperation between our countries, I will answer briefly – certainly not Russia.”