Russia has confirmed signing more than USD 4.2 billion worth arms contracts with Iraq during the second half of 2012, making it the country’s largest arms supplier after the US.
According to a joint statement issued on Tuesday at a meeting between Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his visiting Iraqi counterpart Nouri al-Maliki, the contracts were signed during visits to Russia by Iraqi delegations including Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi.
“The delegation members familiarized themselves with the Russian military production, discussed the technical and commercial options of the offer with Rosoboronexport (state) supplier, and signed contracts worth more than $4.2 billion,” read the statement.
On Monday, the Iraqi premier arrived in Moscow to consolidate political, economic and defense ties with Russia and discuss the recent developments in Syria.
Prior to Maliki’s first visit to Moscow, Russian reports said the deals would all be sealed jointly this week and totaled some USD 4.3 billion.
The two countries also negotiated Iraq’s purchase of 30 Mi-28 attack helicopters and 42 Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile systems.
Maliki said in the Russian Foreign Ministry mansion on Monday that Iraq needs Russia’s help in defense and military areas and needs arms to “defend itself and fight terrorism” in the country.
The two countries were said to further negotiate Iraq’s acquisition of MiG-29 jets and heavy armored vehicles along with other weaponry.
Heading a high-ranking delegation, the Iraqi prime minister is visiting Moscow for the first time in three years and a half at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Iraq reportedly has contracts with Russia to buy weapons worth $4.2bn (panarmenian.net)