Albania proposes ex-Soviet Naval base to NATO to counter Russia

According to information published by Europa Today on May 27, 2022, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama proposes the Pashaliman naval base, 180 kilometers south of the capital Tirana, to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization amid the Ukraine war.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Albanian Pasha Liman Naval Base, Vlorë. (Picture source: Wikimapia)

The Pasha Liman Base, or Pashaliman Base, is an Albanian Navy base south of Vlorë, Albania. Pashaliman was the only Soviet base in the Mediterranean in the 1950s.

It was the hot spot of conflict between the Soviets and the Albanians in 1961 when Albania pulled out of the Warsaw Pact and the dispute of the four Whiskey-class submarine ownership that Albania had seized. Following the collapse of the Communist regime, the base was rebuilt by Turkey and under a bilateral agreement the Turkish Navy has the right to use it.

Three of the Albanian Navy's four Damen Stan patrol vessels were built at Pashaliman, the most recent completed in 2014. Currently, four retired Whiskey-class submarines previously owned by the Soviet Union are still located on the facility alongside Albania's active-duty naval vessels.

The Naval Force often operates naval exercises in the Bay of Vlorë, out of Pashaliman. This includes exercises with other nations, such as the United Kingdom. The most recent exercise, Sarex '16, took place in April 2016.