The cooperation agreements recently signed by Argentina with Russia could be a Buenos Aires' response to the situation with the disputed Falkland Islands territories, former Russian ambassador to Argentina Evgeny Astakhov told the Russian news agency, Sputnik International on Friday.
“I think it is an Argentine response to the history of the Falklands,” Astakhov said.
The former ambassador added that the West has traditionally supported the United Kingdom in the dispute, which shaped the geopolitical situation in the region and set Buenos Aires’ foreign policy.
Argentina claims it inherited the Falkland Islands, located about 300 miles off the country's east coast, after the Americas became independent from Spain. Britain claims it first discovered the archipelago and was settled long before Argentine claims. Argentina also appeals to territorial integrity and the UK argues the Falkland Islanders, living eight/nine generations in the Islands have the right to decide their future, self determination, enshrined in the UN charter.
The territorial dispute with the UK saw a 74-day Falklands War in 1982, when the Argentine military invaded and briefly occupied the Islands, before being ousted by a Task Force sent from Britain.
In March 2013, residents of the Falklands almost unanimously turned out to vote for the Falkland Islands to remain a British Overseas Territory.
Following the referendum London insists that any talks regarding the Falklands are now three-legged, meaning UK/Argentina and the Islands. Argentina refuses point blank arguing the Falkland Islanders are not a people and Cristina Fernandez calls them squatters.
Astakhov added that a stronger cooperation between Russia and Argentina may pursue other major goals, such as changing the global financial situation and reducing dominance of US dollar, by agreeing to consider bilateral trade in the two countries' currencies, Peso and Rubble.
However the diplomat pointed out that the growing cooperation between Russia and Argentina does not mean that Buenos Aires is seeking confrontation with the United States. These concepts should not be mixed. The development of ties between [Argentina] and Russia does not mean a confrontation with the United States,” Astakhov said.
The former ambassador added that conflict with the United States is not in the interests of Argentina.
Argentina is an independent and economically self-sufficient country with abundant reserves of oil and gas, which is a common field of interest between Moscow and Buenos Aires, Astakhov added.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday in Moscow. The sides signed a raft of twenty cooperation accords in different fields and described bilateral ties between Moscow and Buenos Aires as strategic”.
Astakhov also added that Argentina will cooperate with BRICS countries to moderate the US dollar's dominance in the global financial system.
“I think that Argentina will join the efforts to make changes in the financial system and the global economy,” Astakhov said.
The former ambassador said that the major global financial institutions, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, depend on the United States.
“This situation is not convenient for China, not for India, Brazil or Argentina, which want to integrate into the recently established BRICS Development Bank,” Astakhov stressed.
The former envoy added that the BRICS countries are now discussing the possibilities of payments in national currencies to overcome the dominance of the US dollar.
The BRICS is group of promising emerging economies comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. As of 2014, the five BRICS economies represented some 40% of the world population generating about 20% of global GDP.