Albania is a southeastern European nation that covers an area of approximately 11,100 square miles, and due to its size, it ranks as the 145th largest nation globally. Albania is a nation significantly steeped in history as people have lived within its borders for a long time with the earliest inhabitants believed to have been in the Paleolithic period. Some of the Albanian regions with the earliest dwellings were located along the coast close to the city of Sarande. The Bronze Age was an integral period in Albanian history as a portion of the country's residents migrated to Mycenae and established one of the world's most well-known civilizations.
Many kingdoms were located within Albania's borders, and they significantly shaped the nation's boundaries with the most famous kingdom to rule within Albania's borders being established by the Ardiaei. Albania's history was also considerably altered by the Roman conquest which was completed by 167 BCE. Albania's territory also fell under the control of the Ottoman Empire until the nation gained its independence in 1912. Albania shares its 430-mile long land boundary with four countries: Serbia (Kosovo), Montenegro, Greece, and Macedonia. Albania also has a coastline roughly 296 miles long and shares its maritime borders with Croatia and Italy.
The Four Countries Bordering Albania
The nations of Montenegro and Albania are separated by a boundary approximately 116 miles long located in the northwestern region of Albania. The history of Albania is closely interlinked with Montenegro's history as evidence indicates that the archaeological artifacts found in Albania were substantially similar to the ones discovered in Montenegro. A section of Montenegro's territory fell under Albania's control in 1941. According to a study carried out in 2011, the Albanian community in Montenegro made up nearly 5% of the nation's population. Southern Europe's largest lake, Lake Skadar, is situated along the border of the two countries with Montenegro having the more significant portion. The lake draws its name from the Albanian town of Shkodër. The Albanian government considered the probability of establishing a nuclear power plant along the shores of the lake although the Montenegrin government was a vehement critic of the project due to the seismic activity in the area. In 2018, the government of Montenegro looked into plans to construct a barrier along its border with Albania to reduce the number of migrants coming into its borders. Montenegro and Albania have close diplomatic ties as they maintain embassies in each other's capital.
Albania's shortest land border is the one that separates it from Kosovo (Serbia) as it stretches for approximately 70 miles in the northeastern region of Albania. Their history significantly shaped the boundaries between Kosovo and Albania as both nations were under the Ottoman rule. Towards the end of Ottoman rule, Kosovo was an integral area in the Albanian National Awakening. Much of Kosovo's territory fell under Albania's control in 1941. The close ties between the two nations are evident as a vast majority of the citizens of Kosovo speak Albanian, and the Kosovar government recognizes the language as one of the nation's official languages. The region along the Kosovo-Albanian border is considered among the warmest areas in Kosovo. Albania maintains close diplomatic ties with Kosovo as the country has four diplomatic missions in Kosovo the primary one being an embassy located in Pristina.
Albania's longest border is the one it shares with Greece which is approximately 132 miles long. Greece and Albania have close bilateral ties due to their shared history. Another factor that contributes to the close ties is that both countries have a large population of residents from the other country. During the period of Ottoman rule, there were ambitions to create a confederacy between Greek and Albania. One of the greatest supports of the federation was Albania's first Prime Minister, Ismail Qemali. Vast numbers of Albanians moved to Greece after the fall of communism mostly in search of economic opportunities due to the poor economic conditions in Albania. Greece has also played a significant role in Albanian politics as they openly supported Fatos Nano who they believed would better serve their interest.
Greece was one of the nations that participated in operation Alba that came as a result of the Albanian rebellion. Data from the bank of Albania indicates that in 2017, Greece was Albania's largest investor and several Greek companies invested in Albania. Albania also imported vast quantities of products from Greece making Greece one of Albania's most vital trading partners. The Greek government cooperated significantly with the Albanian government in combating a wildfire that affected Albania in 2017. One of the significant issues that affected the relationship between the two nations was the Cham issue. The governments of Albania and Kosovo agreed to put up a commission to investigate the matter; however, despite the commission being formed it was yet to perform its functions. Albania and Greece also share a maritime border with the nations in deliberations to settle the location of the boundary. Greece and Albania also have close diplomatic ties as they both have several representations in the other's territory.
Albania and Macedonia also share a border which is approximately 112 miles long. Archaeological evidence indicates that the communities that lived in Macedonia and Albania were closely related. According to a study carried out in 2002, Albanians made up nearly 25% of Macedonia's population. An influx of refugees from Kosovo significantly increased the Albanian population of Macedonia. Albanians in Macedonia had a conflict with the nation's government which resulted in the intervention of NATO forces. The Albanians were in support of separating from Macedonia although the intervention of NATO ensured that the Albanians abandoned their demands. The government of Macedonia has two representations in Albania with the main one being an embassy situated in Tirana. The Albanian government has a single representation in Macedonia, an embassy located at Skopje.
Economic Significance Of Borders
Borders are an integral part of all nations as they show to what extent the government can extract natural resources and conduct its activities. Governments are also able to tax products coming into their borders which is a significant source of revenue to the countries.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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