Iraq cancels Russia arms deal over graft concerns

Iraq is annulling a $4.2 billion arms deal with Russia it reached earlier this year over concerns about possible corruption, an Iraqi government spokesman said.

Iraq cancels Russia arms deal over graft concerns

World Bulletin/News Desk

Iraq has cancelled a $4.2bn deal to buy arms from Russia because of concerns about "corruption", BBC reporterd.

An Iraqi government advisor has said to BBC Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has launched an investigation into the deal.

The purchase - said to include attack helicopters and missiles - was only signed off in October.

"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."

The sale would have made Moscow - the main supplier of arms to Iraq under Saddam Hussein - the country's second-biggest arms supplier after the US.

There has been no word from Russia about the cancellations.

In early October, Mr Maliki said in a speech that he did not want Iraq to be "part of someone else's (arms) monopoly."

But he faced criticism from political opponents who questioned buying from Russia, when multiple deals with the US had been signed.

Had it been finalised and implemented, it would have made Russia the second-biggest arms supplier to Baghdad, after the United States.

Last Mod: 10 Kasım 2012, 15:49
Add Comment