04:34 GMT +317 February 2019
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    Falkland Islands

    UK Accuses Argentina of 'Bullying' Over Falklands Oil Drilling Lawsuit

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    UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond accused Argentina of “bullying” on Friday after Buenos Aires had started legal action against three British firms for oil and gas drilling near the disputed Falkland Islands.

    LONDON (Sputnik) — Earlier on Friday, Argentina's Secretary for Matters Relating to the Falkland Islands Daniel Filmus told reporters that his country would start a lawsuit against several companies involved in Falklands drilling, including three based in the United Kingdom.

    “It's an outrageous abuse of international procedure and we will take any action we can to resist it,” Hammond told Sky News.

    These are believed to be Premier Oil, Rockhopper and Falkland Oil and Gas.

    The Argentinian move is an “outrageous piece of bullying,” according to Hammond.

    “We are talking to United States about what action we can take.”

    The Falkland Island government also lashed out against the lawsuit, deeming it “another attempt by Argentina to try to block economic growth in the Falkland Islands.”

    “We have the right to develop our economy, including the hydrocarbons industry, and we are exercising that right,” the government said in a statement, as quoted by Sky News.

    The Falkland Islands, home to just under 3,000 residents, is a British Overseas Territory located some 480 km (300 miles) off the coast of Argentina, which also claims sovereignty over the archipelago.

    The centuries-long territorial dispute resulted in a war between Argentina and the United Kingdom in 1982. The conflict claimed the lives of over 900 people and ended with Argentina's capitulation.


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