Prime Minister Edi Rama became an international media sensation within minutes, thanks to his heated exchange with the Russian ambassador at the United Nations Security Council meeting.
While Edi Rama's interventions may have pushed the boundaries of diplomatic etiquette observed by the Security Council, they injected a dose of tension into one of the institution's most critical gatherings, elevating Albania's prominence on the global stage for a couple of compelling reasons.
Firstly, it had to do with Albania's unequivocal support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, and Rama's sharp remarks in favour of President Zelensky's presence in the Security Council chamber. By defending Zelensky's presence and his right to address the Security Council as a victim of unprovoked aggression, Albania firmly aligned itself with international law and the Western stance on this conflict.
Following Edi Rama's stance, the U.S. Ambassador to the Council made Albania's alliance with the United States and Western nations on this issue unmistakably clear to the world. This is a significant event for a small nation, which may often go unnoticed beyond Europe.
Secondly, this development also touched on the fate of the Albanians. In addition to Albania leading the Security Council during a period that coincided with the United Nations General Assembly session, attended by leaders from around the world, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was represented at the Security Council meeting by a prominent Albanian politician, Bujar Osmani, serving as the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia.
This was the reason why the Russian ambassador, following Zelensky's presence, expressed displeasure at the increased Albanian presence at the meeting, particularly objecting to Bujar Osmani's presence.
Edi Rama's irony that this was "not a special operation of the Albanian presidency" against Russia not only put an end to the polemics with the Russian ambassador but also made it the headline of the meeting, reminding Russia of the falsehood with which it initiated the conflict in Ukraine.
Lastly, Edi Rama seized the opportunity to defend the history of Kosovo’s liberation by the West, rejecting comparisons with Russia's claim to annex Ukraine. He emphasized that Kosovo's freedom should not serve as a justification for territorial seizures and the suffering and destruction of Ukrainians.
So, if there was one merit to Edi Rama's run of the Security Council, it was his personal ability to make Albania significant in the discussed topic, using his skills for both polemics and aligning Albanian issues with the international conflict.
Above all, it showcased Albania as a Western nation in the eyes of the world during the meeting of the Security Council.