The Argentine government denounced that the United Kingdom blocked the sale of the FA-50, manufactured by South Korea, for having 5 components made in Great Britain.
A military embargo imposed by the United Kingdom now prevents Argentina from acquiring a plane manufactured in South Korea and that would be used by the Argentine Air Force (FAA), said Argentine Defense Minister Agustín Rossi.
“We had been in conversations with the Korean company KAI (Korean Aerospace Industries) to purchase the FA 50 fighter aircraft for the FAA. Today we are informed that Great Britain, which produces five components of the FA 50, prohibits the sale to our country. A new display of Britain’s imperial arrogance.», the minister wrote on Twitter.
Veniamos dialogando con la empresa KAI, coreana, para la compra del avión caza FA 50 para la FAA. Hoy, nos comunican que Gran Bretaña, quien produce 5 componentes del FA 50, prohíbe la venta a nuestro país. Nueva muestra de soberbia imperial 👇🏼#MalvinasArgentinas pic.twitter.com/XBjq2bExHb
— Agustín Rossi (@RossiAgustinOk) October 30, 2020
Rossi also attached the letter that the company sent to the Argentine ambassador in South Korea explaining that the export of the five British components of the FA-50 aircraft must be approved by the British government, based on the arms embargo it maintains on Argentina.
«It is our duty to inform you that the UK export license is unresolved to date,» the company apologizes, promising to do its best to resolve the issue. Despite Rossi’s statement of a complete termination, KAI’s letter states that efforts are stalled, but not concluded.
The United Kingdom maintains restrictions on the sale of arms to Argentina since 1982, when both countries fought in the Malvinas (Falklands) War, the islands claimed by the South American nation that remains occupied by the British.
However, the embargo had twists and turns that coincided with the positions of the different Argentine governments with respect to the United Kingdom. Thus, the embargo was lifted in 1998 within the framework of the good relations between the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Argentine President Carlos Menem, who had renounced the use of force in the South Atlantic.
Nevertheless, the lifting of the arms embargo maintained some restrictions, since the British Government still reserved the right to block an operation if it had suspicions that this weapon could be used against the British inhabitants of the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands.
A new blockade began in 2012, with David Cameron as British Prime Minister and with Cristina Fernández in her second term. The tension between the two countries grew again and the Argentine Government came to report to the United Nations that the British sent a submarine nuclear to the South Atlantic.
Later, President Mauricio Macri and Prime Minister Teresa May extended the rapprochement during the G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires. The communication from KAI released by Minister Rossi shows a new tightening of the measures, within the framework of an Argentine government that maintains the claim on the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands as a priority, as emphasized by the president Alberto Fernández since his inauguration in December of 2019.