Albania is a democratic country in the Balkan region of southern Europe. It used to be Communist for 48 years, until 1992. The country's economy is developing and slowly recovering from that period. Albania is a part of NATO and it applied to join the European Union; full membership is expected in 2015 or after that.
Albania has a coastline on the Mediterranean, the country borders Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro. Its official language is Albanian. There are about 3 and a half million people living in Albania. During the communist rule, Albania sided with China in the Sino-Soviet split, in which China and the Soviet Union stopped being allies due to their conflicting interests and communist ideologies. Albania was the only European nation to ally itself with China. Under Enver Hoxha, Albania thrived and maintained an excellent relationship with Josip Broz Tito's neighbouring Yugoslavia. This relationship deteriorated, however, after Tito's death in 1980.