Iraq Cancels $4.2 Billion Arms Deal With Russia Over Corruption

Category: World / Nov 10, 2012 11:42AM EDT
Iraq has cancelled a $4.2 billion arms deal with Russia over suspected corruption but plans to renegotiate the agreement to help equip its armed forces, a spokesman for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was reported to have said on Saturday (November 10). The Iraqi prime minister has launched an investigation into the deal, which reportedly included attack helicopters and missiles, according to media reports. A big military reshuffle in Russia started on Tuesday (November 6) when Vladimir Putin fired the Russian Defense Minister over corruption allegations and replaced him with his loyal ally and former Emergencies Minister. Putin vocally opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 but Moscow has since sought energy and arms deals with Baghdad and the contracts mean Iraq is now one of Russia's biggest weapons buyers.