A new report indicates that Britain is concerned about Russia’s “increasing” military ties with Argentina in the Southern Atlantic where the UK and the South American state are at loggerheads over Las Malvinas (Falklands).
Press TV reports: The UK has been allegedly reviewing its defenses on the archipelago after news that Russia may offer Argentina fighter jets, the UK’s Daily Express said in its report.
The Russian deal will reportedly lease or lend twelve Sukhoi Su-24 all-weather attack aircraft to Argentina in the future. The jets will be able to do air patrols over the disputed islands.
According to the British tabloid, Ministry of Defense officials fear Buenos Aires will take delivery of the planes well before the 2020 deployment of the Navy’s 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and its F-35B fighters, leaving a “real window of vulnerability.”
It also quoted Air Commodore Andrew Lambert of the UK National Defence Association as saying that “the Ministry of Defence should be worried. It always trots out the mantra of reviewing force levels but the only real solution is to deploy a sizeable force of Typhoons, at least a squadron, to buy us time to formulate a proper reinforcement package.”
Now Don DeBar, a New York-based Radio Host, believes London has to worry about Russia’s increasing influence in the Western hemisphere.
“Certainly, the idea of national sovereignty has been on the rise there for a very long time at an anti-colonial attitude. Those are prime conditions of course for reassertion of claim of Argentina to the Malvinas and Russia is perfectly poised to provide distance to the military position of the Argentina vis-à-vis the UK under the present condition. So that’s why they are concerned. They should be concerned.”
Britain has some 1,500 troops permanently based on Malvinas, along with four RAF Typhoon jets, plus anti-aircraft and artillery batteries.
The islands have belonged to Britain since the 1830s. But Argentina insists the islands are theirs by virtue of their proximity to the South American mainland. In 1982, Buenos Aires lost a brief but bloody war with Britain over the islands.