Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama has been surprised by supporters of Britain's exit from the European Union campaign mentioning his country as an example of future ties.

In an op-ed published in The Times Tuesday, Rama considered as "odd" British Justice Secretary Michael Gove singling out Albania "as a model for the post-Brexit British economic settlement." He added it would be wrong of Britain to look to benefit from free-trade zones like a "British-Balkan Confederation."

Britain will decide in a June 23 referendum whether to leave the 28-nation bloc.

Rama said that "it is odder still that he (Gove) wants voluntarily to leave a union that seems to have given Britain so much."

Albania expects to launch EU full membership negotiations this year after getting candidate status two years ago.