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NATO to Build 1st Air Base in Western Balkans in Albania - Prime Minister

© REUTERS / Ints KalninsNATO eFP battle group soldiers wait for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visit in Tapa military base, Estonia September 6, 2017
NATO eFP battle group soldiers wait for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visit in Tapa military base, Estonia September 6, 2017 - Sputnik International
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BELGRADE (Sputnik) - NATO is planning to build its first air base in the Western Balkans near the municipality of Kucove in central Albania, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said on Saturday.

"The North Atlantic Council approved the decision to build the first air base in the Western Balkans in Albania. In partnership with the Albanian government, NATO will invest over 50 million euros (some $58 million), and this is only for the first stage of modernization of the air base in Kucove," Rama said on Facebook.

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The Albanian minister noted that the implementation of the project should start during the year. The air base will serve Albania's air forces, provide logistics support, training exercises and support NATO supply operations.

Albania entered NATO's Partnership for Peace in 1994 and joined the alliance in 2009.

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