Iraq cancels $4.2bn Russian arms deal
Baghdad, November 10, 2012
Iraq has cancelled $4.2 billion arms deal with Russia over suspected corruption, but plans to renegotiate the agreements to help equip its armed forces, a spokesman for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Saturday.
The deals would have made Russia the second largest military supplier to Iraq after the US which has sold Baghdad billions of dollars in arms including F-16 fighters and tanks since the 2003 invasion.
"Our need for weapons still stands so we will renegotiate new contracts," Ali al-Moussawi, the prime minister's media advisor. "This is a precautionary measure because of suspected corruption."
Iraq has no real air force since the fall of Saddam Hussein, and badly needs aircraft to help defend its airspace and borders.
The Russian newspaper Vedomosti reported earlier this year that the Russian deals included 30 Mi-28NE combat helicopters and 42 mobile rocket launchers..-Reuters