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Argentina accuses U.S., U.K. of hypocrisy over Crimea

- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

PARIS (AP) — Argentina's president on Wednesday accused the U.S. and Britain of "double standards" if it doesn't recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

During a speech in Paris, Cristina Fernandez compared the referendum in the Black Sea peninsula to the one that took place last year in the Falkland Islands, a British territory that Argentina claims as its own and refers to as the "Islas Malvinas."

The international community accepted the will of citizens of the archipelago who overwhelmingly voted to remain British, despite strong protests from Buenos Aires.

Argentina says the Falklands, which have been under British control for 180 years, were usurped from the South American country. Argentina went to war with the U.K. in 1982 in a failed occupation attempt.

"We demand that when the great powers talk of territorial integrity, that it be applicable to everyone," Fernandez said, referring to opposition by the international community over the disputed referendum in Crimea on Sunday in which 97 percent of voters said they wanted to separate from Ukraine.

"We either respect the same principles for all, or we live in a world without law, where the most powerful get their way," the 61-year-old leader added.

The issue of Crimea overshadowed a working lunch expected to focus on ways to tackle Argentina's growing international debt.

Argentina owes $9.5 billion to the Paris Club, a group of the world's wealthiest countries that has in recent decades helped other nations with debt problems.

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Associated Press writer Michael Warren in Buenos Aires contributed to this report.

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