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Storm Clouds Gather Over The Falklands – OpEd


By Sergei Sayenko

At least 20 operatives from British Special Forces are providing protection to Prince William on the Falkland Islands, where he is serving on a helicopter search-and-rescue crew, British media reported on Monday. The Voice of Russia’s Sergei Sayenko has more.

The Special operations unit is tasked with identifying and thwarting any potential threat posed to the Duke of Cambridge who arrived in the Falklands in early February on a routine deployment. The arrival came in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War which was fought between Britain and Argentina over the disputed islands.

Prince William’s deployment to the Falklands infuriated Argentina’s Foreign Ministry which strongly condemned the move and referred to the Duke a ‘conquistador’. The Ministry’s comment was echoed by prominent Hollywood actor Sean Penn who was quoted as saying that “it was unthinkable that the United Kingdom can make a conscious decision to deploy a prince within the military to the Malvinas.” The statement was made during Penn’s visit to Argentina earlier this month.

“It’s necessary that these diplomatic talks happen between the United Kingdom and Argentina. I think that the world today is not going to tolerate any kind of ludicrous and archaic commitment to colonialist ideology and yet there are clearly nuances of negotiations that have to be beneficial and understood between both parties.”

Experts say that the biggest threat to Prince William could be posed by “a single person or a group of several people.” Special Forces personnel had carried out extensive reconnaissance operation on the Falklands prior to the Duke’s arrival there. They will be on standby to ensure Prince William’s safety, and they even have permission to ‘shoot to kill’ if necessary.

The question is who are they going to ‘shoot’ on the Falklands given that the Argentinian side is currently treading carefully on the matter, our political commentator says. Everyone knows full well that a potential attempt on Prince William’s life would almost certainly spark a war between the UK and Argentina which is why Buenos Aires would never make such an insane move, our commentator adds.

It seems that the Duke’s six-week mission to the Falklands seeks to remind Argentina once again that the South Atlantic archipelago remains an integral part of Britain.

Meanwhile, diplomatic friction between Britain and Argentina over the Falklands shows no sign of abating. On Monday, two British cruise ships were prevented from docking in the Argentine port of Ushuaia, apparently because they had earlier visited the Falklands. Britain demanded explanation which our commentator says are unlikely to be offered because the incident had been deliberately instigated by Buenos Aires which wants to punish London for its reluctance to negotiate the status of the Falkland Islands.

With the time ticking for the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War, scheduled for April 2, 2012, the UN is surprisingly turning a blind eye to the British-Argentinian dispute which intensifies with every passing day.

Adding fuel to the fire will certainly be a visit by British MPs to the Falklands in March and the upcoming deployment of the Dauntless destroyer and the Trafalgar-class nuclear-powered submarine off the Falklands. One can only hope that the British authorities will think twice before sending these warships to the Falklands, a saber-rattling move that would herald the beginning of the militarization of the South Atlantic, our commentator concludes.

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VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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