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ARGENTINA | 14-03-2024 18:29

Argentina sued in United States over unpaid fuel for presidential plane

Associated Energy Group files lawsuit against Argentina for failing to make payments to cover fuel costs from the presidential plane during trips by former president Alberto Fernández and current head of state Javier Milei.

A firm in the United States is suing Argentina after it defaulted on payments related to fuel for the nation's presidential plane.

Associated Energy Group, with offices in Miami and subsidiaries in cities like Houston, Texas, pointed out that Argentina “has substantially and repeatedly breached its payment obligations for the fuel and services rendered and invoiced between September 18, 2023 and January 4, 2024,” according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday before a federal court in the southern district of Florida.

The period mostly overs fuel expenses for use of the presidential aircraft during former president Alberto Fernández's (2019-2023) term in office, though it also covers a brief part of President Javier Milei's administration.

According to court document, the firm is suing the President of Argentina in order to collect unpaid invoices amounting to over US$ 351,000, in addition to procedural expenses, interest and fees.

Associated Energy Group (AEG Fuels) said that the amount is for services rendered to Argentina's presidential plane ARG01 and jet ARG03 within the United States (in the states of New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Colorado and Kansas) and in India, South Africa, Panama and Peru.

“AEG has demanded on several occasions the payment of the debt from Argentina, but it hasn’t received full payment for the amount owed. Despite repeated demands by AEG to Argentina, including a demand letter dated February 12, 2024, the defendant has refused to comply with all its payment obligations,” the firm explained in its complaint.

The majority of the debt is obligations contracted during the last year of Alberto Fernández's government. Yet there are also three bills that were issued in the first few weeks of President Milei's government – one issued on December 26, 2023 for services to ARG01 amounting to US$68,820, another one dated January 4 for ARG03 for US$1,245 and US$60 for a cancellation or delay fee for services to the presidential plane, also dated January 4.

Milei took office on December 10 last year.

The new president, who is determined to tackle Argentina's runaway inflation of 276 percent per annum, has introduced draconian spending cuts to address the economic crisis.

One of Milei's headline moves has been to ground the presidential fleet, only travelling abroad on commercial airlines. In the first three months of his administration, he has visited Switzerland (for the World Economic Forum in Davos), Israel, Italy and the United States.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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