UK and Argentina trade economic blows over Falklands/Malvinas dispute

Argentina and Britain have resorted to an economic war of sorts as tensions between the two countries flare around the 30th Anniversary of the war in the Falklands/Malvinas Islands.

According to media reports, the Argentine Embassy has written to companies involved in the exploration of oil in coastal waters surrounding the Falklands/Malvinas, warning them that their activities could trigger legal action.

Banks and stockbrokers which have undertaken advisory and fundraising roles for the five oil exploration companies are believed to have received the letter.

Britain may now refuse to offer debt forgiveness for a £45m loan to the military junta in 1979, which it is believed may have been used to buy equipment used in the war.

UK Export Finance inherited the debt after Argentina defaulted on loans to British exporters, which had been underwritten by the British government.

Meanwhile Foreign Secretary William Hague reiterated Britain’s “steadfast commitment to the right of self determination of the people of the Falkland Islands” in his speech to heads of mission at the Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet. This was the first official diplomatic reception attended by the newly-arrived Ambassador of Argentina, Alicia Castro.