Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner today backed Russia’s claim to the Crimea, comparing it to Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands.
Speaking during a visit to Paris, Mrs Kirchner said that Crimea “has always belonged to Russia”, just as the Falkland Islands have “always belonged to Argentina”.
RT en Español reports that she also criticised the “double standards” of Western powers, especially Britain, in refusing to recognise the referendum in Crimea while accepting the result of last year’s Falkland Islands referendum.
Describing the Crimea vote as “one of the famous referendums of self-determination”, President Kirchner mocked the Western stance, saying: “the referendum for self-determination in Crimea is bad, but the referendum for self-determination for the Kelpers (a derogatory term for Falkland Islanders) is good.”
“This doesn’t stand up to the least analysis,” she added.
Her comments come despite her own country’s refusal to recognise last year’s referendum in the Falkland Islands as legitimate.
The Falkland Islands have been a subject of dispute between the UK and Argentina since the South American state gained independence in 1816. The Islands have been under British control since 1833, apart from a few months in 1982 when Argentine forces invaded and took control of the islands. A British task force soon took the islands back.
Amid continuing tensions over the islands, a referendum on British rule was held last in yeah in which 99.8 percent of islanders voted to stay British. Argentina refused to recognise the referendum, however, insisting that the population are implanted and have no legitimate claim to the land.
The referendum in Crimea has been widely criticised due its hasty organisation and alleged lack of a full register of electors.