Europe

Albanian company struggles to deliver ambulance to Ukraine

On May 17, 2022, workers will install lights in the van of an ambulance manufacturing workshop in Tirana, Albania. [Florion Goga/Reuters]

A small Albanian company is struggling to meet demand and produce the first batch of about 500 ambulances that governments and agencies plan to send to Ukraine.

“We were only given two weeks to build 11 ambulances and transport them to Ukraine,” said businessman Arjeta Puca.

A company that employs 14 people, including 3 from Turkey, has been asked to build hundreds of ambulances, but finds it difficult to get a car in Albania.

“We were asked to build up to 500 ambulances, including armored ambulances, but the problem of not finding a van remains,” Puka said at a workshop on the outskirts of the capital, Tirana, on Tuesday.

Workers are taking new Ford vans and installing oxygen cylinders, blue lights, sirens and other tools.

The first 11 ambulances will be ordered by UN agencies and will be shipped to Poland and Ukraine when completed.

Puka, which Timak manufactures ambulances for Albania and Libya, says the UK government is also interested in 50 ambulances.

The first deal with Ukraine may not have been the most commercially advantageous, especially with such a sudden notice, but Puka felt obliged to accept it.

“Our wish was to contribute to Ukraine … in this era, we shouldn’t just think about money,” she said.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO member Albania has joined other European countries, introducing economic sanctions and banning Russian aircraft from its airspace.

In early March, the municipality of Tirana changed the name of the street where the Russian and Ukrainian embassies are located to Free Ukraine to celebrate Ukraine’s resistance.

The war in Ukraine is a major topic of conversation when workers smoke and relax at Timak’s workshop.

“From what we’ve seen in the past, we sympathize with what’s happening there, and here we’re working with a lot of passion to prepare an ambulance for Ukraine,” said carpenter Izzet Vitich. Told. [Reuters]

https://www.ekathimerini.com/news/1184600/albanian-company-struggles-to-deliver-ambulances-for-ukraine/ Albanian company struggles to deliver ambulance to Ukraine

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