Albania suspects two Russians of espionage. Russian citizens Georgy Budanov and Vladislav Cherkasov tried to collect information about the ongoing international military exercises Defender Europe-2021.

It was established that Budanov arrived in Albania in early March as a businessman, allegedly interested in investing in the city of Vlora. Albanian law enforcement officers suspected other purposes of Budanov’s stay in the country, including on the coast during the Defender Europe 2021 exercise, and deported him.

According to Vladislav Cherkasov, it is known that he entered Albania on May 12, supposedly heading for the city of Durres, where maneuvers took place as part of Defender Europe 21. After checking Cherkasov’s belongings, law enforcement officers found a drone that he was not allowed to take. The Russian was constantly monitored and all his contacts, information about the movements in Tirana and Durres were transferred to the investigation.