Foreigners were detained near a military plant
Albanian authorities reported that two Russian citizens and one Ukrainian were detained in this Balkan republic on suspicion of espionage. One of the detainees is accused of using some kind of paralyzing spray against the guards who tried to detain them.
Albanian police. Photo: AP.
Two Russians and a Ukrainian were arrested on suspicion of espionage at a military plant in southern Albania, the Albanian Ministry of Defense announced late on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Russian, identified only as M.Z., was detained after entering a plant in Gramsa, 80km south of the Albanian capital Tirana, and taking photographs, the Associated Press reported. . The report says that two military guards were hit by a “neuroparalyzing spray” that the Russian allegedly used to resist arrest.
Another Russian woman, S.T., 33, and a Ukrainian, F.A., 25, were detained near the complex, and their car was blocked, the Ministry of Defense said.
Meanwhile, according to RIA Novosti, the Albanian Daily news edition names the detained Russians: 33-year-old Svetlana Timofeeva and 23-year-old Mikhail Zorin.
Earlier, plant director Lorenz Zani told the Albanian Daily news portal that the three foreigners tried to approach the object, but were noticed by the military, after which there was a skirmish, during which two guards were injured after one of the foreigners applied some kind of spray. According to the Albanian Ministry of Defense, one of the Russians allegedly entered the plant and tried to take pictures.
“The three people were escorted by the police, who, in cooperation with other institutions, are investigating the case,” the Albanian authorities said in a statement. At the same time, it is indicated that the military police, army intelligence, civilian and anti-terrorist police are coordinating this case.
Two army guards, who were injured by spray from a can, were taken to a military hospital for medical treatment.
The Gramsch Military Factory opened in 1962 to produce AK-47s or Kalashnikovs. After the fall of communist rule in Albania in 1990, the company ceased production and instead began dismantling old Kalashnikovs and other small arms. The plant also repairs other military weapons. As reported on the website of the Albanian Ministry of Defense, today the plant provides manufacturing services for the military-industrial complex, details were not disclosed.
“What pride for the military guards who neutralized three suspected espionage,” — Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote on social media, adding: “Now let's wait for the full clarification of this event.”
Albania, a member of NATO since 2009, condemned Russia's special operation in Ukraine and joined the sanctions of the European Union and The United States against Moscow.
As RIA Novosti was told at the Russian embassy in Tirana, the Albanian authorities have not yet informed the Russian diplomatic mission about the detention of the Russians. All information comes only from local media.