Albania said on Sunday that it was looking into why two Russians and a Ukrainian tried to break into a military factory.
The defence ministry announced late Saturday that two of its soldiers were slightly hurt while holding a 24-year-old Russian man who had infiltrated the Gramsh military industrial grounds and was attempting to take photos. He resisted arrest and sprayed pepper spray on the soldiers.
Two others, a 33-year-old Russian lady and a 25-year-old Ukrainian man, were apprehended nearby.
Defence Minister Niko Peleshi stated on Sunday that it was too early to determine the purpose, but he did mention geopolitics, implying a possible relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the Albanian government has condemned.
‘In light of the broader regional and geopolitical backdrop, this cannot be disregarded as a simple civilian occurrence, but we cannot jump to conclusions,’ he stated after seeing the injured soldiers in the hospital.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said on Saturday that the three people were ‘suspected of espionage,’ although he did not elaborate.
According to Tirana-based media, the three accused were bloggers who frequently visited abandoned military camps and other large installations in various nations.
Peleshi stated that the probe would reveal whether they were bloggers and what their motivations were.
During communist administration in Albania, the Gramsh facility manufactured Russian-designed AK 47 rifles.
According to the ministry’s website, the plant currently offers manufacturing services to the defence industry. It was once used to dismantle small guns and ammo.
Albania, a NATO member since 2009, has joined the United States and other Western countries in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Moscow.