Argentina threatens jail sentences over Falkland Islands oil operations
Argentine embassy in London announces new laws to punish exploration it claims breeches a United Nations resolution
Argentina has threatened oil firms who wish to operate off the Falkland Islands with 15-year jail terms, fines and confiscations in a fresh salvo in the dispute with Britain over sovereignty.
Its London embassy announced the Argentine Congress has passed new laws to punish exploration it believes breeches a United Nations resolution.
The Foreign Office has argued the activities were “wholly legitimate and legal” and entirely under the control of the Government of the island - a British overseas territory.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Hydrocarbons activities by any company operating on the continental shelf of the Falkland Islands are regulated by legislation of the Falkland Islands Government, in strict accordance with the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea.
“The UK Government unequivocally supports the right of the Falkland Islanders to develop their natural resources for their own economic benefit.
“Argentine domestic law does not apply to the Falkland Islands or South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, which are UK overseas territories.”
Islanders voted in March by 1,513 to three to remain a British overseas territory in a referendum but Argentina has since hiked up its claim over the territory at the UN.
Buenos Aires has issued repeated written legal notices to firms warning them they face administrative, civil and criminal action for operating off the islands - which Argentina calls Las Malvinas.
In a statement, the embassy said the new law “provides for prison sentences for the duration of up to 15 years; fines equivalent to the value of 1.5 million barrels of oil; the banning of individuals and companies from operating in Argentina; and the confiscation of equipment and any hydrocarbons that would have been illegally extracted.
“The Argentine Government has protested against and rejected all of the United Kingdom's attempts to promote and authorize such hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities in the area of the Argentine continental shelf.” it said.
“These attempts are manifestly contrary to Resolution 31/49 of the United Nations General Assembly, which requires the UK and Argentina to refrain from taking decisions that would imply introducing unilateral modifications into the situation of the Malvinas Islands while the sovereignty dispute between the two countries is still pending.”
Additional reporting by PA
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...