Argentina made official this week the planned monitoring of vessels sailing between the mainland and the disputed Falkland Islands, the Coast Guard agency PNA said.
President Cristina Fernández in February—in response to a British-Falklands’ oil firm's exploration of the area—announced Argentine maritime authorities would monitor vessels travelling to and from the South Atlantic archipelago.
Argentine Naval Prefecture (PNA) said requests for permission to travel by sea to the Islands from the mainland would have to be submitted seven days before departure. The same applies to all vessels departing from the Falklands, South Georgia or South Sandwich Islands towards continental Argentina.
The six point resolution from the Coast Guard states that all vessel or naval artefact which plans to sail between Argentine continental ports and ports in the Malvinas, Georgias del Sur and Sándwich del Sur Islands or cross Argentine jurisdictional waters heading towards ports of the above mentioned islands, and or load merchandise to be transported directly or indirectly between these ports, must request a previous authorization from the Argentine Coast Guard as established in Article 1 of Decree 256/2010.
In a sign of the Coast Guard's possible role in the waters, Argentine officials halted in February a shipment of oil pipes that apparently destined to the Falklands following Desire Petroleum’s move to begin a drilling round off the Islands.
The operation triggered outrage in Buenos Aires, which has rallied Latin American and Caribbean leaders in support of talks over the dispute Islands and which Argentina repeatedly claims in all regional and international forums.
Earlier this month, Kirchner escalated the sovereignty claim, saying at a ceremony marking the 28th anniversary of the Falklands War that Britain does not respect UN resolutions asking the two countries to start negotiations over the issue.