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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama sign the "Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation" in Tirana on Feb. 28, 2024. (President of Ukraine)
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Albania and Ukraine signed a "Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation," President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Feb. 28 during his visit to Tirana for the Ukraine-Balkans summit.

Zelensky arrived in Tirana late on Feb. 27 to attend the second Ukraine-Southeast Europe summit, marking his first visit to Albania since the start of the full-scale invasion.

The agreement signed with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama "will help to strengthen our cooperation with Albania and Ukraine's position in the Balkans," Zelensky said.

The two countries agreed to develop cooperation in various fields, including trade, culture, education, the environment, healthcare, media, sports, and tourism.

The agreement also envisages cooperation between Albania and Ukraine in tackling organized crime, terrorism, smuggling, and trafficking.

Zelensky said that he and Rama discussed Ukraine's ongoing defense needs and "potential joint arms production."

Zelensky presented the Order of Yaroslav the Wise to Rama at the start of the signing ceremony "for his significant contribution and support for Ukraine," the Albanian government said.

"Since the first days of the full-scale invasion, Albania has supported Ukraine in our struggle for freedom and territorial integrity," Zelensky said. "We are grateful to the Albanian government and people."

Albanian Foreign Minister Igli Hasani said on X that Zelensky's visit to Albania marks "a pivotal moment for fostering bilateral ties."

Albania is "standing in solidarity with Ukraine in its heroic fight against Russia's aggression," Hasani said.

Hasani met with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Feb. 28 and said they had "very good discussions on strengthening bilateral ties and fostering a dynamic partnership between our countries."

The first Ukraine-Balkans summit was held in Athens in August 2023. Zelensky met with Balkan leaders to coordinate European and Euro-Atlantic integration, defense cooperation, and security, as well as separate talks on bilateral issues.

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