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June 27
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Albania has offered a naval base to NATO to highlight the small nation's value to the alliance in these difficult times, Prime Minister Edi Rama noted.

The Pasha Liman naval base, located 110 miles south of the capital Tirana, could be added value to the alliance, he said, and a redevelopment project has already been prepared.

The Pasha Liman base, located under Vlora Bay, was built in the 1950s, where the Soviet Union brought 12 submarines, making it the only naval base in the Mediterranean.

After the severing of ties between Tirana and Moscow in 1961, Pasha Liman remained a naval base, where the four remaining submarines and other small warships took refuge.

The base was looted, as were materials from the submarines, during the anarchy of 1997 in Albania, when Europe's then poorest population lost their savings in failed investment pyramid schemes.

Three of the submarines were sold for scrap, while the fourth remained and the government is considering turning it into a museum.

Pasha Liman was refurbished by Turkey and has since been used as a naval base for some warships patrolling the Ionian and Adriatic Seas.

NATO has also begun upgrading the Albanian Kukove Air Base, 53 miles south of the capital Tirana, to enable it to be used for alliance operations.

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