Albania buys Javelin anti-tank missiles to strengthen its army
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s Defense Minister said Saturday that the Western Balkan country has purchased Javelin anti-tank missiles to strengthen its defenses.
Niko Peleshi said that Albania had signed a contract with the American Lockheed Martin, without specifying the number of missiles, their cost or the date of delivery.
Peleshi said the purchase of the missiles was part of the army’s modernization efforts.
Earlier this week, Lockheed Martin said the US military had awarded two contracts to produce Javelin missiles and associated equipment and services worth a total of $309 million. These contracts include more than 1,300 Javelin missiles funded by Ukraine’s recent Supplementary Appropriations Act and orders for several international customers, including Norway, Albania, Latvia and Thailand.
“In order not to create panic, there is no concrete threat. We are a member country of NATO and the issue of national security is resolved. We are protected,” the minister told reporters.
Peleshi also said NATO is not a threat to any country, including Russia. Tirana supports the alliance’s “open door” policy welcoming Finland and Sweden as new members, which Peleshi says are “two independent sovereign countries with high political, legal and military standards.”
Turkey, however, has so far said it would not accept Sweden and Finland joining NATO.
Three Western Balkan countries – Albania, North Macedonia and Montenegro – are members of NATO. Albania joined in 2009.