Philip Hammond hits out at 'bullying' Argentina over Falklands threat

Posted On: 
17th April 2015

Argentina’s threat to take legal action against firms exploring for oil around the Falkland Islands amounts to “bullying and threatening”, Philip Hammond has said. 

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Daniel Filmus, Argentina’s Falklands minister, has warned that the executives of companies could be prosecuted if they looked for oil or gas without permission from Buenos Aires.

The threat, alongside Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's insistence in a speech last week that it was not just “wishful thinking” for Argentina to reclaim sovereignty over the islands, led to the Foreign Office summoning the Argentine ambassador.

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Mr Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, told Sky News today Mr Filmus’ comments were unacceptable.

He said: “It’s an outrageous piece of bullying and threatening against the Falkland Islanders’ perfect right to develop their own economic resources and Argentina needs to stop this kind of behaviour and start acting like a responsible member of the international community.”

The war of words between the UK and Argentina also intensified after the UK announced in March that it would spend £280m to "beef up" defences on the islands. 

Mr Filmus accused the UK of “growing militarisation”.