Roberto Lavagna, Argetina's economy minister, ruled out on Monday negotiations with creditors who rejected the country's record $100bn (€77bn) debt-restructuring, despite growing pressure to reach an agreement with them.
In a radio interview, Mr Lavagna said the government had no plans for reaching a quick agreement. "There is absolutely nothing today, nor tomorrow nor in a month," he said.
Mr Lavagna, who has been attending Inter-American Development Bank meetings in Okinawa, Japan, reiterated that investors who failed to tender their bonds in February's debt-exchange offer - $19bn of defaulted securities were not tendered - could end up holding bonds in a "permanent state of default".
His comments come as Néstor Kirchner, Argentina's president, is expected to arrive on Tuesday in Germany, home to many of the retail investors who rejected the government's offer.
They also come days after the International Monetary Fund hardened its stance over the debt issue just as Argentina hopes to secure a new rollover agreement with the Washington-based institution.
Even after the restructuring, Argentina's public debt is at least 75 per cent of gross domestic product, and Mr Kirchner's administration says it needs a fund programme to meet its financing needs for this year.
Yet Thomas Dawson, the fund's spokesman, said last week: "If there were a future fund programme the [Argentine] authorities would need to develop a realistic strategy to deal with non-participating creditors." Mr Dawson stopped short of saying what such a strategy should consist of.
Speaking at the IDB meeting at the weekend, and in a clear reply to the IMF, Mr Lavagna suggested that Argentina already had "a realistic strategy". That strategy, he said, had allowed the country to grow 26 per cent over the last three years, successfully combat alarming rates of unemployment and poverty, and achieve the best fiscal results "in decades".
Mr Lavagna said the strategy would also allow Argentina to deal with the hold-out investors "in due course" and "without yielding to pressures". Until that time came, he said on Monday in the radio interview, creditors were free to seek redress in the courts.
Indeed, some already have done so. Last week, NML Capital, a Cayman Islands-based hedge fund, filed documents to the New York appeals court in the hope of keeping alive a case against the Argentine government. At least one other private creditor has followed suit.
Mr Lavagna is scheduled to arrive in Washington this week, where he will take part in the IMF's spring meetings. He is also expected to hold meetings with fund officials.
Get alerts on Front page when a new story is published