17.07.2021 – 21:44
The contract signed by the Albanian government with Turkey for the purchase of drones has worried neighboring Greece. “Protothema” has published a long article about Albania’s decision to buy drones in Turkey, the danger that may come in relations between the two countries, Tirana and Athens, remittances that Albanians in Greece bring home, but also “jealousy” for relationship with Italy.
“Turkey is one of the five largest drone manufacturers in the world and its exports are multiplying. Turkish drones were used by Azerbaijan in the Nago-Karabakh war. Poland became the first NATO country to prepare to buy drones from Turkey, followed by Tunisia, Morocco and Ukraine (which, of course, Vladimir Putin will not like at all). Albania, on the other hand, became the first country to purchase an anti-drone system produced in Turkey in 2020. In February 2020, Turkey and Albania signed a defense co-operation plan to further develop security. In fact, in June 2020, the Albanian parliament ratified the cooperation that stipulates that Albania will buy weapons systems of Turkish production. In June 2021, the Albanian Minister of Interior Bledi Çuçi visited the drone production unit “Bayraktar TB2” in Istanbul.
It was agreed that Albania would pay the amount of € 8.2 million for the purchase of drones and in fact the Albanian budget was changed on 22 June 2021 to include € 8.2 million for drones. But how much does a drone cost? A “Bayraktar TB2” costs about $ 5 million, ie approximately € 4.2 million. Albania can buy two “Bayraktar TB2” drones for the amount. “We do not know if there is another deal and a better price for a loyal friend from Turkey.”
The article goes on to emphasize that Albania is free to do whatever it wants, but raises the question of why Greece should worry.
“Many will say that Albania, like any independent state, is free to buy planes, ships, drones, weapons, etc. from wherever it wants. Of course this is absolutely right. But let us look at some parameters that concern Greece. We do not care, for example, whether Poland buys 24 drones or how many drones Tunisia and Morocco will buy. But Albania, which alone is of course not a threat to Greece, but in cooperation with Turkey can become extremely dangerous. But why and what worries Greece? In the framework of NATO, Greece monitors with its aircraft the airspace of Albania, as well as Skopje. Let’s ask a question. If Serbian planes violate Albania’s national airspace, will Greek planes rush to stop them? Definitely yes. Greeks and Serbs to fight in the air for the sake of Albania…
Let’s go to drones now. Will they be used to control the situation in the Albanian territory or will they start flying over Epirus and the Northern Ionian? If such a thing happens, how will the Greek side react? What if Albanian drones fly over Greek territory? In closing this chapter, let us refer to something that seems impossible, but no one can rule it out. In the unfortunate case of a hot episode or conflict between Greece and Turkey, what role will the Turkish base in Vlora play? Has the political and military leadership of Greece thought that we could then have unpleasant surprises on our northwestern border? And let us hope that we do not get to the point of hearing or reading the news that “Albanian drones violated national airspace in the area of the prefecture of Ioannina and were intercepted by Greek fighter jets.” Because they will probably lead us to uncontrollable and dangerous situations. We do not deny that most Albanians living in our country are honest and hardworking. The net amount that “entered” from Greece to Albania in 2017, was 584 million euros. Where is Turkey on this list? What is its offer, the real one, not figurative for Albania. If there were no remittances from Greece, mainly Italy in second place, what would be the economic situation of Albania?
Albanians, we think, have quite friendly feelings towards Italians (they rather forget the images of their compatriots being thrown into the sea by Italian ships in the ’90s), but this is not the case with the Greeks, who face suspicion, even hatred. The article closes.