A leading spokesperson for the Argentine government in Congress said that there is “no rupture of relations with Great Britain but a controversy over the Malvinas Islands” because of the oil drilling round set to begin in the coming hours in Falklands waters.
Agustin Rossi, head of the government’s block in the Lower House also talked about those companies that could have commercial direct or indirect links with the oil exploration companies involved in the Falklands drilling round or its logistics.
“In fact there are British oil companies working in continental Argentina. But one thing can’t be mixed with the other” said Argentine Rossi, insisting the current situation with Britain is that of “a controversy over the Malvinas”, and “not a rupture of relations”.
“Argentina has a mining investment law and all companies, whatever the origin of the capital they represent, and if they abide by investment regulations are entitled to work in the country. What we are questioning is the presence of an oil rig in the Malvinas Islands because they belong to an international and historic claim of our country. These are two absolutely different things, otherwise it could be interpreted as an arbitrary action from Argentina”, underlined the lawmaker.
He went on to say there’s “no animosity in particular: we have a claim with historic, geographic and geopolitical foundations over the Malvinas islands. This is where all the energy of Argentina must concentrate”.
Further on Rossi pointed out that historically “in each of our international claims is included the request, by Argentina, of a ban on hydrocarbons exploitation or attempted exploitation along the continental platform which corresponds to our country”.
Rossi made the comments following the summoning to Congress of Deputy Foreign Secretary Victorio Taccetti to explain the government’s current policy on the Falklands.
“The purpose of the presidential decree is to adopt all necessary actions so as to avoid an advance in a direction which all international resolutions clearly ban”, said Taccetti who described the decision as “not friendly”.
“Although the measure does not impede traffic in and out of the Malvinas Islands, it does make trips longer, sailing costs increase and it disrupts the logistics effort for the oil drilling operation in Islands’ waters”, pointed out Taccetti.
He added that Argentina “dose not have the means to stop vessels from going to the Malvinas, since we’ve given up the use of force”.
Taccetti mentioned that an additional resolution from the Energy Secretary “eliminates from the registry of authorized companies to operate in hydrocarbons in Argentina, all those involved with a pseudo licence from the Malvinas usurpers”.
He underlined that with decree 256 Argentina was basically protecting its sovereignty claims over the Islands, and complained that the UK has never complied with international resolutions calling on both sides to initiate sovereignty talks.
“The fact is that the decree will force vessels to request cross permits from Argentine authorities and we are also currently talking with friendly countries to avoid those very vessels from taking supplies in their coasts”.