Uncertainty over Iraq’s $4 billion Arms Deal With Russia

Posted November 10th, 2012 at 11:45 am (UTC-5)
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The fate of a $4.2 billion dollar weapons deal between Iraq and Russia appears to be in limbo.

A spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that the deal had been cancelled because of his government's “suspicions of corruption.” However, other officials say the plan is under review.

Baghdad and Moscow signed off on the weapons package in October.

Reports say 30 Mi-28 attack helicopters were to be included in the deal, which would make Russia Iraq's biggest arms supplier after the United States.

The Russian state arms export agency, Rosoboronexport, declined comment. It was unclear from the Iraqi reports whether Baghdad was directing corruption allegations at Moscow or at its own government.

In October, Mr. Maliki led a delegation that met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other high-level officials. During the talks, Mr. Putin praised the quality of Russian weapons.

Russia and the former Soviet Union engaged in weapons deals with Iraq during former leader Saddam Hussein's era.