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    Russian Envoy to Albania Denies Moscow’s Alleged Role in Anti-Govt Protests

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    BELGRADE (Sputnik) - Russia does not stand behind weeks of anti-government protests rocking the Albanian capital of Tirana, the country’s ambassador, Alexander Karpushin, said Friday.

    "Claims in local media about Russia’s negative influence and its financing of the Albanian opposition or certain politicians are essentially absurd and baseless", Karpushin said in А2 CNN broadcast.

    The opposition Democratic Party rallied in Tirana for the seventh time this Thursday amid accusations of corruption and ties to drug crime against Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama.

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    The diplomat argued there was no point in Russian government or business funding the Albanian opposition party since it and the ruling Socialists were equally anti-Russian.

    "They don’t explain the point of funding the Democratic Party from Russian sources. I doubt that Russian business knows it exists. Why would they give money to the Democratic Party? Is it more pro-Russian than the Socialist Party? Absolutely not. Today we see that the ruling majority and the opposition are equally reluctant to cooperate with Russia", he added.

    Karpushin argued the allegations had been sparked by a political crisis in the small Balkan nation and was used by local parties to attack one another. He suggested the West might have been unhappy with Russia’s presence in the region and was spreading rumors about it subversive influence.

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    Over months, Albania’s largest opposition Democratic Party has been accusing Rama of corruption and economic woes, demanding his resignation and regularly organizing rallies. In February, the party’s members gave up their parliamentary seats, calling for early elections.


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