In a dramatic intervention set to breathe life into the country’s bitter war of words with the UK over the future of the islands, Russian ambassador Dmitry Feoktistov said Moscow will “always support” Argentina in its bid to prise the Falkland Islands away from Britain. Argentina uses Islas Malvinas – the Spanish name for the British overseas territory – which it claims sovereignty over despite nearly 200 years of UK control.

Speaking at a reception to pay respects to the fallen soldiers in the Falklands War in 1982, Mr Feoktistov said: “In Russia we have the commemoration of the Immortal Regiment on Victory Day, when people go out with portraits of their loved ones who died in the war.

“In Argentina we commemorate it in St. Martin Square, we march to the Monument of the Fallen in Malvinas and many Argentines join us on this date.

“This time it is the other way around: the Russians join you to honour the memory of the fallen in the Malvinas Islands.”

Falkland islands

Falkland Islands fury has erupted after Russia ordered the UK to hand the terrirtory to Argentina (Image: GETTY)

“I want to tell all veterans and Argentines that Russia has always been and will always be with you.

“We will always support you in everything and especially in the sovereignty issue over the Malvinas as we have always done in the United Nations.

“The time of colonialism has passed and the English must return the Malvinas Islands to Argentina.

READ MORE: Gibraltar, Falklands and other overseas territories MUST get own MPs Falklands War

Governor Gustavo Melella, Mayor or Argentinian city Rio Grandea said, for his part, that “the ambassador’s message moved us deeply.”

Governor Melella responded: “The ambassador’s message moved us deeply.

“Having heard from an ambassador of a world power like Russia openly declare, as he has already done during all these years, support for the sovereignty of Argentina over the Malvinas, but do it here, in Tierra del Fuego, in the land of Malvinas, in the Monument to the Fallen in Malvinas, was a very strong message.

DON’T MISS
Falklands War: How Thatcher beat Argentina with secret spy operation [REVEALED]
Falklands fury: Mauritius’ ‘poor decision’ to back Argentina [INSIGHT]
Argentina demands Falklands team plays under ‘Islas Malvinas’ title [LATEST]

“I had never heard any ambassador say it with such conviction, and the voice of the ambassador is the voice of his people and of President Vladimir Putin.

“He filled us with joy, satisfaction and on behalf of the town of Tierra del Fuego I thank the Russian people.”

The president of the Malvinas Combatants Centre, Conrado Zamora, added: “It is an honour and a compliment that one of the powers of the world says that colonialism is over because we are already in the 21st century and colonies no longer have to exist.”

Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands: Britain is keen to hold on to its overseas territory (Image: EXPRESS)

Since Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016, Buenos Aires has tried to steer the lead in the Remote British Overseas Territory by the back door.

The two historic foes have been embroiled in a long-running diplomatic spat over the islands, which have been under British control since 1833.

However, the political debate is now raging once again after the UK and Argentina entered discussions over trade with the first official visit since 2009.

In 2013, a referendum asking whether the Falkland Islanders supported the continuation of their status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, prompted an almost unanimous response from the island’s inhabitants.

On a turnout of 92 per cent, an overwhelming 99.8 per cent voted to remain a British territory, with only three votes against.

Argentina’s 1982 invasion sparked a war which left around 650 Argentine soldiers and 255 British dead.

It ended with the surrender of the Argentine troops a few weeks later.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

source: express.co.uk

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here