First Published: 2012-11-12

 

Iraq to renegotiate massive Russia weapons deal

 

Government spokesman says Baghdad will renegotiate with Moscow to put end to suspicions of corruption in arms deal.

 

Middle East Online

A large batch of MiG-29 fighters is being discussed

BAGHDAD - Iraq will renegotiate a massive weapons deal with Russia, a spokesman said on Monday, after Baghdad cancelled a $4.2 billion agreement that would have made Moscow Iraq's biggest supplier after the US.

The cancellation on account of graft concerns of the initial deal, announced last month while Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was visiting Moscow, was a setback for Russia's attempts to firm up its slipping foothold in the Middle East and also threw into doubt efforts by Iraq to equip its armed forces.

"The Iraqi government has not signed any deal to buy weapons from Russia so far, but the process is ongoing to purchase weapons from Russia because of Iraq's needs," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement.

He said Iraq's National Security Council had decided on Sunday to "fully renegotiate" with Moscow, and had formed a new committee to do so.

"It will renegotiate with Russia to put an end to suspicions of corruption in the weapons deal," Dabbagh said.

Maliki's spokesman said on Saturday that the deal valued at more than $4.2 billion (3.3 billion euros) had been cancelled because of suspicions of corruption.

Had the announced deal been finalised and implemented, it would have made Russia Baghdad's biggest arms supplier after the United States.

Russian media said the deliveries covered 30 Mi-28 attack helicopters and 42 Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile systems.

Discussions were also said to be underway for Iraq's eventual acquisition of a large batch of MiG-29 fighters and helicopters, along with heavy weaponry.

The statement announcing the deals said they were secretly discussed as early as April and revisited again in July and August during visits to Russia by Iraqi delegations that included acting Defence Minister Saadun al-Dulaimi.

 

Hollande ‘guest of honour’ at GCC summit

IS claims Texas anti-Muslim event attack

Israel PM still short of even slimmest majority

Iraq Sunnis stay away from Tikrit for fear of revenge-seeking militias

Prince Ali: I will continue FIFA race until the end

Obama nominates Marine general for top US military post

UN Syria envoy launches wide-ranging talks in Geneva

Top US diplomat sees ‘better future’ for Somalia

Israel closes investigation into killing of Arab Israeli youth

Qatar to build ‘cities’ for migrant workers

Saudi King warns of Iran threat to regional stability

Hamas launches crackdown on radical Salafist groups in Gaza

Kerry first high-ranking U.S. diplomat in Somalia

Iraq sends reinforcements to key Beiji refinery

Violent attacks force major hospital in Aleppo to close indefinitely

Rouhani denounces western pride in arms sales

Riyadh, Paris discuss multi-billion-euro projects

Saudi king sacks head of royal protocol

Saudi Arabia considers ‘temporary’ halt in coalition air strikes

France looks to boost ties with Gulf countries

Taliban soften position after Qatar talks

Israel seeks to ease tensions with angry Ethiopian community

UN gears up to host separate talks with Syria rival sides

Hundreds of residents protest against Qaeda control of Yemen city

Qatar signs deal for 24 French Rafale fighter jets

Police foil attack against Prophet Muhammad exhibition in Texas

Lebanon security forces arrest IS-linked cleric

Recent disasters fail to slow tide of desperate migrants

Rumour of Al-Duri killing breathes life into shadow of Iraq dictator

Closure of last overland route chokes off Lebanon exports

Syria army tightens crippling siege on rebel bastion

Terror threats against Jews: Israel warns and Tunisia denies

Arab coalition deploys ‘limited’ force on ground in Aden

Syria army launches offensive on rebel attacks in regime bastion

Istanbul under security lockdown on May Day

ICC will consider Palestinian war crimes too

Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker 'warns' America against Muslim immigration

Ban warns fuel shortages threaten Yemen relief operations

Iran trying to buy nuclear technology

Iraqi Kurd leader to meet Obama next week

Yemen rebels launch first major attack on Saudi

Sudan maintains balancing act with Saudi Arabia, Iran

Syria, Iran vow to step up fight against ‘terrorism’

Iran warships reach entrance of key Yemen strait

Iraq offers amnesty to personnel who fled ‘Islamic State’