Putin Tells Britain To Resolve Falklands Row

Putin Tells Britain To Resolve Falklands Row

Vladimir Putin has waded into the Falkland Islands row, telling Britain it must sit down with Argentina for fresh talks to resolve the dispute.

The Russian president, who has faced international criticism over the annexation of Crimea and continuing tensions on the Ukraine border, said his country supported "the necessity" to find a solution to the 200-year-old feud.

Speaking at a dinner with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on a one-day visit to the country, Mr Putin added: "I'd like to draw attention to the words of the president regarding double discourse in international affairs."

Ms Fernandez has previously accused Britain of double standards for criticising a pro-Russian secession vote in Crimea, while using last year's Falklands referendum, in which islanders voted in favour of remaining British, to justify its rule of the archipelago.

At the dinner with Mr Putin, she thanked the Russian leader for supporting her country's "national cause".

"Colonisation is a dark cloud over the 20th and 19th centuries and something that should be totally wiped out," she said.

"We thank the position of Russia regarding the Falkland Islands and I am going to call a toast in the name of, as you put it, a world without double discourse ... where the international rights are the same for everyone and applied the same way everywhere."

Britain has controlled the Falklands since 1833 - except for 74 days of occupation in 1982 - but Argentina claims it inherited rights to the islands in 1816.

More than 900 people were killed and 2,000 injured during the war triggered by an Argentine invasion 32 years ago.

Last month, a UN committee approved a resolution calling on the UK and Argentina to negotiate over the Falkland Islands.

Argentina's foreign minister Hector Timerman told the UN special committee on decolonisation the UK's refusal to "fulfil its obligations to negotiate" over the islands' sovereignty went against the founding principle of the UN.

However, Falklands residents gave speeches at the meeting, saying they were "happy with the current status and don't want to change it".