About Albania

Republic of Albania


General information. According to the constitution, the official name is the Republic of Albania, the short name is Albania. State in the southwestern part of the Balkan Peninsula. It shares borders with Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece. It is washed by the Adriatic and Ionian seas. The Strait of Otranto (75 km) separates Albania from Italy. The climate is Mediterranean with hot and dry summers (+ 40 ° С in July) and mild winters (+ 5 ° С in January). Territory - 28.7 thousand sq. Km. Albania stretches 400 km from north to south and 148 km from west to east. Albania is 2/3 a mountainous country, the average height is 708 m. The highest point is 2753 m (Mount Korabi).

Population - about 3 million people (about 7 million people live outside the country). According to Albanian statistics, the majority are Albanians (95%), Greeks (3%) live in the south of the country, Serbs, Macedonians and others near the northern and eastern borders. About 65% of believers are Muslims (Sunnis and Bektashi), 20% are Orthodox , 10% are Catholics. The state language is Albanian.

The national flag is a red field with a black two-headed eagle in the center.

Public Holidays.

• Republic Day is one of the most significant national holidays in the country, celebrated annually on January 11, since 1946.

• Independence Day of Albania - celebrated on November 28th. As a rule, gala evenings in honor of this day are organized by diplomatic missions in various countries.

• Mother Teresa Beatification Day - celebrated on October 19 as a national holiday.


The capital is Tirana (1.2 million inhabitants), located 40 km from the Adriatic Sea. Founded in 1614, it has been the capital since 1920.

Administratively, the territory of Albania is divided into 12 regions, which, in turn, are divided into 61 municipalities, which include communes (villages).

Regions of Albania: Berat (Population 122,000), Vlore (Population 188,000), Gjirokastra (Population 59,000), Dibra (Population 115,000), Durres (Population 290,000), Korca ( 204,000), Kukes (Population 75,000), Lezha (Population 122,000), Tirana (Population 906,000), Fier (Population 289,000), Shkoder (Population 200,000) , Elbasan (Population 270,000).

A brief historical sketch. Albanians are one of the most ancient peoples of Europe, descending from the Illyro-Thracian tribes (presumably). In the XV century territories inhabited by Albanians were captured by the Ottoman Empire. The defeat of Turkey in the 1st Balkan War led to the proclamation of an independent Albanian state (November 28, 1912). In 1924, a democratic government headed by Fan Noli came to power in Albania for a short time. It was overthrown by the Albanian feudal lord Ahmet Zogu, who in 1928 proclaimed himself “the king of all Albanians”. On April 7, 1939, Albania was occupied by Italy, and after the surrender of Italy in September 1943 - by Nazi Germany. November 29, 1944 completely liberated from the invaders. On January 11, 1946, the Constituent Assembly proclaimed Albania the People's Republic (APR). In December 1976, the APR was renamed the People's Socialist Republic of Albania (PSRA). On April 29, 1991, after the fall of the communist regime, the country was named the Republic of Albania.


The state system of Albania is the Parliamentary Republic. The head of state is the president, who is elected by parliament for a term of 5 years. The same person cannot hold the presidency for more than two terms. Ilir Meta (from the Socialist Party of Albania) has been the president since 24 July 2017.


The highest legislative body is the unicameral Assembly (parliament). According to the Constitution, the Assembly consists of 140 deputies, elected for a term of 4 years according to a proportional system. In the elections on June 25, 2017, the opposition won the victory - the Socialist Party, led by the leader of the Socialist Party Edi Rama (74 seats). The Democratic Party of Albania won 48 seats, the Socialist Movement for Integration 19 seats, the Party for Justice, Integration and Unity 3 seats, the Social Democratic Party of Albania 1 place. Speaker of the Parliament Gramoz Ruci.


The executive body - the Council of Ministers, includes the Prime Minister Edi Rama, as well as the acting Olta Xhacka Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.


Council of Ministers operates with this lineup since September 9, 2017

The highest body of the judiciary is the Supreme Court. The President of the Republic proposes candidates for the Supreme Court members for consideration in the country's parliament. The term of office of judges of the Supreme Court is 9 years. The justice system also includes the Constitutional Court, the Court of Appeal, the courts of first instance, and the military tribunal. In 2003, a court for especially grave crimes was created. The institution of the Ombudsman - “People's Advocate”, Ombudsman, is headed by Erinda Ballanca, who was elected on 22 May 2017.

Armed Forces of Albania. The Commander-in-Chief President of Albania Ilir Meta. Chief of General Staff Yeronim Bazo. Term of conscription service is 12 months. Includes ground, naval, air force, republican guard (internal troops), border troops. The Albanian Armed Forces participate in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Afghanistan. Draft age - 19 years (a law was passed on the possible replacement of military service by paying appropriate compensation to the budget). NATO member since 2009. The number of armed forces in peacetime is about 13 thousand people, with partial or full mobilization - 31.5 and 100 thousand people, respectively. The state police numbers about 10.5 thousand people.

Political parties. Since 1990, a multi-party system has been adopted. The party system in Albania is highly polarized. The largest and most influential are the center-left Socialist Party (SPA), leader Edi Rama and the center-right Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha. The third force is considered to be the Socialist Movement for Integration Party, leader Ilir Meta.

The law prohibits the activities of Nazi, racist, radical parties. In 1998, the previously banned Communist Party of Albania was legalized.

Since the beginning of the 90s. the confessional activity of the Muslim, Catholic and Orthodox communities, banned since 1967, has been resumed.

There are more than 60 public organizations in the country: trade union, youth, women's, human rights, associations of veterans, cultural and art workers, etc. However, their influence on political life is negligible.

Economy. A significant share of GDP in 2020 is the service sector - 54.1%. Albania's GDP (PPP) in 2020 is $ 16,743, and $ 5,843 nominal per capita. The inflation rate in 2020 was 2%. In 2021, the expected GDP growth is 8.8%. In the ranking of ease of doing business, Albania is ranked 82nd (easy, 2020).

 The leading agricultural industry is crop production. Cereals, potatoes, tobacco, sunflowers are grown, fruit growing (olives, citrus fruits), viticulture, and mountain pasture farming are developed.

Main industrial sectors: mining, oil, food, textile, electric power industry.

The country is carrying out economic reforms aimed at strengthening market relations, the development of import-substituting industries, and privatization continues. The reforms are based on the recommendations of the EU and the IMF. The Albanian government is seeking to attract foreign investment. The main investors are Italy, Greece, Turkey, Germany.

One of the priority directions of the government is to create conditions for the development of small business, the tourism industry, and an attractive investment climate.

Exports in 2017 - $ 2.39 billion: footwear, chromite ore, ferroalloys, crude oil, agricultural products (mainly fruits, vegetables and tobacco).

Key buyers: Italy - 48% ($ 1.15 billion), China - 7.4% ($ 177 million), Spain - 5.3% ($ 127 million), France - 4.7% ($ 113 million) and Germany - 4.7% ($ 111 million).

Imports in 2017 - $ 4.21 billion: cars and other equipment, oil products, medicines, livestock products, textiles and consumer goods

Main suppliers: Italy - 30% ($ 1.28 billion), Turkey - 9.9% ($ 416 million), Greece - 9.7% ($ 391 million), Germany - 8% ($ 336 million) and China - 7.4% ($ 311 million).

The human development index is high. The economically active population is 1.2 million people. Employed population by sector: Agrocomplex 41.4%. Production 18.3%. Services 40.4%. Average salary after tax pay $ 459.96 (2019).

Main industries: Perfume and beauty products, food and tobacco, textiles and clothing, lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, hydropower.

Foreign economic relations. The main foreign trade partners are Italy, Greece, China, Germany. On December 1, 2006, the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Albania entered into force. Active cooperation in the field of foreign trade with the countries of the region is underway, agreements on free trade have been concluded with Turkey, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Moldova, as well as with Kosovo.

Foreign policy. Since the beginning of the 90s. Albania's foreign policy is Euro-Atlantic in nature. Integration into the EU and NATO, the provision of external support for the socio-economic reforms carried out in the country and the solution of the so-called Albanian national question. The latter boils down to unconditional support for Kosovo and the protection of the rights of Albanian minorities in neighboring states.

A turn has been made from confrontational approaches and self-isolation to active involvement of the country in the sphere of international political, economic and military cooperation. Albania is a member of the UN and its specialized agencies, the OSCE (since 1991), the Council of Europe (since 1995), the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, and has observer status in the European Parliament. Albania joined the IMF, IBRD, EBRD, in 2000 became a member of the WTO, is a co-founder of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, a member of the Central European and Adriatic Ionian Initiative, in 2009 joined NATO. In July 2014 it received the status of a candidate country for the EU.

In the development of bilateral ties, priority is given to the United States and neighboring Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Albania is building close ties with Kosovo and continues to advocate wide recognition of the province's independence. Relations are maintained with Asian partners - China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the countries of the Arab East and North Africa.

Culture. The capital has the Opera and Ballet Theater, the Drama Theater, the Comedy Theater, the Theater for Young Spectators, museums and art galleries, and cinemas. Also large Albanian cultural centers are the cities of Durres, Korca, Shkoder, Vlore. A number of contemporary Albanian writers (I. Qadare, D. Agola) and art workers (I. Mulya, O. Arapi, V. Dyurzi-Tarasov) are widely recognized not only in Albania, but also in Europe.

Education. Compulsory eight-year education provides for education in secondary general education schools. Graduates of secondary schools receive the right to continue their studies in gymnasiums (4 years), which is a prerequisite for further admission to the university. The system of higher educational institutions in Albania includes 22 state and about 120 private institutes and universities.

Press. More than 60 newspapers and magazines are published, including newspapers in English and Italian. The largest publications are Shekuly, Gazeta Shtiptare, Shtip, Panorama, Rilindya Democracy (the newspaper of the DPA), Zeri and Populit (the publication of the SPA).

Radio and television. Regular radio broadcasting began on November 27, 1944. In addition to state radio broadcasting, more than 20 private radio stations carry out.

Since November 1971, there has been daily republican television broadcasting, since 1981 - in color. In addition to the state television company TVSH, about 20 private television companies broadcast their programs.

Visas. For the citizens of Ukraine, Albania unilaterally introduced a visa-free regime with stays of up to 90 days within six months. Since 2017, a visa-free regime has been in effect from Ukraine.


Postal Address

Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Albania in Kharkiv
61070, 1, Ac.Proskury str.,
Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Tel / Fax

Tel.: +38(057) 717-79-33
Tel./fax: +38(057) 719-93-36



Opening Times

Monday to Friday
09:00 - 17:00