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Tirana renames Russian embassy street 'Free Ukraine' in show of support for Kyiv

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By Euronews  with EFE
Protestors hold a massive Ukrainian flag during a rally in front of Russia's Embassy in Tirana.
Protestors hold a massive Ukrainian flag during a rally in front of Russia's Embassy in Tirana.   -   Copyright  GENT SHKULLAKU / AFP

The Albanian capital Tirana has become the latest European city to rename a section of a street on which there is a Russian embassy to show support for Ukraine.

Erion Veliaj, the city's mayor, announced the new address would be Rruga Ukraina e Lirë (Free Ukraine Street) following Moscow's invasion.

"The Russian [embassy staff] will have to work, live and get their mail at a Free Ukraine street address," he said.

The part of the street in question houses the embassies of both Russia and Ukraine, as well as Serbia and Kosovo.

It had previously been named after Donika Kastrioti, an Albanian noblewoman and the spouse of the country's national hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skenderbeu, who fought against the Ottomans in the 15th century.

Tirana's local council unanimously approved the decision to rename the road over the weekend.

Mayors in Vilnius and Prague have also recently renamed streets leading to the Russian embassies as "Ukrainian Heroes Street".

The deputy mayor of Riga in Latvia has also confirmed on Twitter that the Russian embassy street would be renamed "Ukraine Independence Street".

According to local authorities, around 1,500 families in the Albanian capital have expressed their willingness to take in Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war.

A number of public and private institutions and companies are also collecting humanitarian aid to offer to Ukraine.

Albania has joined other NATO countries in imposing economic sanctions on Russia since the invasion began and has prevented Russian-owned or operated aircraft from flying over its airspace.

Additional sources • AP, ANSA