Argentina's Defence Minister has denied the allegations made by the Sun newspaper that it was preparing an attack on the disputed Falkland Islands, slamming the claims as "crazy".
In the news story, published on Tuesday (24 March), the Sun claimed that Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, was to beef up Falkland Islands troops over "new invasion threats" made by Argentina. "The defence secretary's decision reflects operational judgements and the increased nature of the threat," the article quoted a Whitehall source as saying.
"It is crazy; this is not the case," Argentina's Defence Minister, Agustín Rossi, commented. "The Sun is a British tabloid newspaper which has accustomed us to these type of covers."
While he claimed there have been no official communication with the British government, Rossi also denied Argentina had established a new strategy in the Falklands, which it argues belongs to the South American state, and refers to the territory as "Malvinas".
In his statement, Rossi insisted on denying the claims made in December 2014 that Argentina was in negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the leasing of Russian combat aircrafts - 12 long-range bombers - in exchange for meat, wheat and other foods, as an alternative way to deal with sanctions from the European Union for the controversial annexation of Crimea to Russia.
"There is no Argentinian policy contemplating this possibility," Rossi told FM Delta on Tuesday, about a potential new arms deal with Russia.
The Minister reiterated the fact that "the state of Argentina wants to find scope for dialogue with the United Kingdom over the Malvinas issue, in compliance with United Nations resolutions".
British and Argentine forces went to war over the islands in 1982 when Leopoldo Galtieri's regime invaded the territory. The conflict left 255 British fighters and 649 Argentine military personnel dead.