Albania completes destruction of pre-NATO ammunition
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s Defense Ministry says the army has finished destroying tons of ammunition and thousands of weapons that were rendered obsolete when Albania joined NATO.
Defense Minister Olta Xhacka said Friday that the last rounds of ammunition were destroyed at plants in central Albania. The minister says the process that started eight years ago will be wrapped up by year’s end when some 600,000 detonating capsules are demolished.
Albania joined NATO in 2009 and has replaced its old Kalashnikov automatic rifles with NATO-standard weaponry. Some 26,000 tons of Soviet- and Chinese-made ammunition and more than 100,000 small weapons were destroyed as part of the switch.
Some 656,000 weapons and 1.5 billion rounds of ammunition were stolen from Albanian army depots in 1997 during civil unrest sparked by Ponzi scheme failures.