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.

 

Saudi warns of 'disastrous consequences' over US 9/11 law

OPEC agrees deal to cut oil output

UN warns 'hundreds' in Aleppo need medical evacuation

Amnesty accuses Sudan of using chemical arms against Darfur civilians

Palestinian president to attend Peres funeral

UN warns 700,000 will need aid once Mosul offensive starts

Saudi seeks oil leadership in economic pinch

Egypt court suspends block on island transfer to Saudi

Bid for international Yemen war probe fails at UN

King Abdullah visits home of murdered writer

Bahrain says 9/11 bill will harm US

9/11 bill puts US, Saudi cooperation in question

UN envoy says Syria talks 'very difficult with bombs falling'

Erdogan says Moody's was 'bought' after downgrade

Erdogan: Turkey may need state of emergency for more than a year

Iraqi activist wins Norway rights prize

Kidnapped German woman, baby freed in Syria

Turkey stops Kurdish TV broadcasts

A year of bombing in Syria triggers limited interest in Russia

Obama defends refusal to use military force to end Syria civil war

US Congress overrides Obama's veto of Saudi 9/11 bill

Palestinians react to death of Peres

Poverty takes toll in rebel-held Yemen fishing village

Kerry threatens to end negotiations with Russia on Syria

Kuwaiti court scraps petrol price hike

Iraq requests more US troops to take on IS in Mosul

Airstrikes hit hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo

Iran nuclear chief says not worried about Trump

Iranian, Italian ships hold manoeuvres in Strait of Hormuz

Gunmen kill three Egypt policemen, civilian in Sinai

Turkey says 32,000 coup suspects awaiting trial

Paris to host international meeting on Libya

Etihad plane in emergency landing in Abu Dhabi

Struggling Saudi Oger lays off 1,300 staff

Israel ex-PM to serve 27 months for graft

Syrian kids return to school in Manbij

World Bank releases $300 million for Syrian refugees in Jordan

UN Libya envoy warns against ‘political impasse’

Iranian FM in Ankara for Syria talks

Syrian army retakes rebel-held Aleppo district

Israeli ex-president Peres dies

Oil prices post marginal gains

Russia tries to strongarm US with Aleppo assault

Saudi petition seeks 'full' rights for women

Jordan vows crackdown on online incitement