Defence minister Arturo Puricelli denied Thursday that Argentina was obstructing the economy of the Malvinas Islands as claimed by Falklands’ governor Nigel Haywood in his state of the nation speech to the elected Legislative Assembly of the Islands.
The complaints from the United Kingdom “are born our of the geographic distance between the usurpers and the Islands, a fact which ratifies Argentine rights over the South Atlantic archipelago” said Puricelli.
Addressing on Wednesday the elected members of the Legislative Assembly, Governor Haywood said that the Falklands challenges “include dealing with attempts by the Government of Argentina to impede certain sectors of our economy”, but he added “the Falklands government is confident that such attempts will not succeed”.
Puricelli made the remarks following the inauguration in Buenos Aires of Unasur Centre for Defence Strategic Studies, and insisted that Argentina is not strangling the Falklands economy.
“Yes, we have the solidarity from our brother neighbours, Uruguay and Brazil who do not allow British vessels en route to Malvinas to call in their ports”, said Puricelli.
At the beginning of 2010 the Argentine government established that all vessels wanting to sail between Argentine ports and the South Atlantic Islands or cross Argentine jurisdictional waters en route to Malvinas must previously request authorization from Argentine authorities.
The administration of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has also strongly condemned exploration operations for hydrocarbons in Falklands waters based on licences awarded by the Islands government.
The administration of Cristina Fernandez and previously from her deceased husband Nestor Kirchner has made it official Argentine policy to claim sovereignty over the Falklands in every possible world forum.
Similarly the Argentine government is implementing a strategy to isolate the Islands by cutting all scientific links regarding common fisheries, limiting charter flights and making sea access ever more complicated, plus threatening all those companies involved in oil exploration or trade with the Falklands and with interests in Argentina.