These are OUR waters! Argentina launches Falklands power grab – UK companies targetted

PMQs: Johnson slams opposition benches over Falklands reaction

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The Argentine secretaries of Energy, Dario Matinez, and of the Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic, Daniel Filmus, said they will notify the three companies of the sanctions issued towards them for commercial activities in the disputed waters.

Argentina claims they did not have the authorisation of the its government, who claim the British Overseas Territory as theirs.

Mr Filmus said: “These companies are not authorised to operate nor have they requested any type of authorisation.”

The secretaries said they “were committing a crime in Argentina” and the three companies continued to participate in exploratory and exploitation works.

The oil companies are Chrysaor Holdings Limited and Harbor Energy Plc, which are based in Britain, and the Israeli company Navitas Petroleum LP.

They have a period of several days to respond to Argentina but if they don’t the country will proceed with their disqualification.

Any disqualification would prevent them from participating for a period of five to 20 years in bidding processes to operate in waters off the Argentine continental shelf, officials said.

Between 2011 and 2015, eight other companies from different countries have already been sanctioned.

This means they cannot operate in Argentina and others areas through a criminal complaint.

Mr Filmus added that the “action that Argentina is taking is supported by declarations from multilateral organisations such as the Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE) and the G77 + China, which have defended United Nations resolution 2065 for a bilateral negotiation as a form of final and peaceful resolution of the dispute with the United Kingdom”.

According to the Argentine government, several oil companies have no interest in participating in exploratory activities in the region while the dispute between the UK and Argentina persists.

Last week, Argentina demanded the Falkland Islands be given to them as it is their “inalienable goal” to gain sovereignty over the South Atlantic territory.

In June, Buenos Aires took its claim over the Falkland Islands to the UN Decolonisation Committee.

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Now, Argentine Defence Minister Agustin Rossi has declared: “Malvinas are an inalienable goal.”

He said that there is “an inalienable objective of the national government” in recognising the geopolitical importance of the Falkland Islands.

The defence minister emphasised the advancement of the militarisation process in achieving this.

Argentina and Britain fought a war in 1982 for dominance of the archipelago, in which the South American country was defeated.

The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with an Argentine surrender on June 14, returning the islands to British control.

In total, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities.

Diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Argentina were restored in 1989 following a meeting in Madrid, at which the two governments issued a joint statement.

In 1994, Argentina adopted a new constitution, which declared the Falkland Islands by law as an Argentine province.

However, the islands continue to operate as a self-governing British Overseas Territory.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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