Press release

Minister condemns Argentine attempts to destroy Falklands economy

The FCO has responded to an Argentine Prosecutor’s order to embargo UK and US assets involved in Falklands hydrocarbons operations.

Announced over the weekend, this order is for the seizure of more than $156m of international equipment, including ships, drilling platforms and bank accounts.

In response, Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire said:

In the last few days we have seen the latest example of the Argentine authorities’ flagrant and unacceptable campaign to strangle the Falkland Islands hydrocarbons industry.

We have been absolutely clear that Argentine domestic law does not apply in the Falkland Islands, nor in the waters that surround them. This politically motivated decision to target company assets is a wholly unacceptable attempt to exercise extra-territorial jurisdiction, and has no legal justification whatsoever.

This action, aimed at British and international oil and gas companies, has dangerous implications for global business. The government of Argentina should refrain from unjustified provocations of this kind.

The Falkland Islands’ plans to develop their hydrocarbons industry, with the support and expertise of companies from around the world, is a legitimate commercial venture. The Falkland Islanders have every right to decide their own future, including through the development of their economy. As ever, we stand behind them and are confident that the international community will continue to resist these Argentine threats.