INTERNATIONAL > Al-Maliki eyes $5 billion defense deal with Russia


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Russia’s Vladimir Putin watches the launch of a missile during an exercise.  REUTERS Photo

Russia’s Vladimir Putin watches the launch of a missile during an exercise. REUTERS Photo

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki set off for Moscow yesterday to sign a $5 billion contract for the sale of weapons including fighter jets, helicopters, anti-aircraft missile systems and armored vehicles to Baghdad, according to a Russian newspaper.

If the deal takes place, Iraq will be among five largest importers of Russian arms, according to Pravda. The Russian newspaper also cited Iraqi News Agency Shafaq, saying that al-Maliki may sign new contracts for the supply of arms and military equipment. In an interview with state-controlled English-language network Russia Today, al-Maliki said he would discuss “military cooperation, and efforts to address the army’s equipment needs” during his visit.

Syria on the agenda

Syria will also be on the agenda during al-Maliki’s first visit to Russia in three and a half years, as Baghdad and Moscow are accused of helping to prop up embattled President Bashar al-Assad during an uprising. The two countries have persistently called for a political solution to the conflict, and have avoided explicitly pushing for al-Assad to give up power.

Ties between Iraq and Turkey have been marred by a flurry of disputes this year, after Ankara’s refusal to extradite Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi. Russian President Vladimir Putin will also visit Turkey on Oct. 15.


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ilker avni

10/9/2012 7:23:05 PM

Saddam bought Russian made arms scud missiles etc,tanks and jets all russian junk that was no match for American made weapons.Maliki is doing the same wasting money on Russian made junk.

abreez khan

10/9/2012 6:33:08 PM

Asian Union, a new reality.

US Observer

10/9/2012 5:40:02 PM

But so many people were convinced we went to Iraq to steal their oil and resources. That their govt would be a puppet to the U.S. pssh, hopefully those people admit they were wrong. I personally don't care what they do now, these things have nothing to do with why we went there or change the fact we accomplished what we needed to.

A Shmolik

10/9/2012 5:34:47 PM

@R.Bind, Russian Army up to and during WW2 relayed on what it had most, Manpower. The satelite Sputnik signaled awakening. Perestroika was contraproductive to theiir utilitarian but functional Arms industry. If they are buying Arms from Israel, it's a stop-gap solution, as PM Putin ramps-up that industry. Israel makes many discoveries in the fields of sience but lacks Finance to see those benefits, other than selling the discoveries, lack will to make peace with Arab World,to get Markets&Cash

A Shmolik

10/9/2012 3:22:14 PM

Iraq is cuting it umbelical cord crom USA and constant medling demand for "Democracy" an anathema to Shia majority. Russia is reclaiming its USSR Era of Influence by selling Arms to Iraq. This is a signal to Turkey to back off from incursions into Northern Iraq, which Baghdad will reclaim. Iraq looks at Arab Spring and particularly the Rebelion in Syria as threat to its Shia domination and ties to Iran. Russia will stoke their fires, get a Naval Station in Basra & presence in Straitrs of Hormuz!

Joshua Bronxman

10/9/2012 3:00:10 PM

This approach could offer Russia a back door to supply arms to the Syrian regime. Since this "present" to Iraq undoubtedly comes with a lot of strings it also diverts Iraq's efforts away from building up a country. Iraq's future seems to offer more instability than it already has.

MR Somalia

10/9/2012 2:51:54 PM

Arabs always have crazy fascination with arms and toys. Big toys, big towers, big guns...and in the end when the going gets tough, they are found hiding in a hole. If I was them I would not be wasting money on military knowing how easy it waste to defeat them yesterday. I would be smart like Japan, even though Japan is a warrior. Who is the threat to Iraq? Kurds? Sunnis? Shia? Last time USA invaded they were changing their military uniform on national TV.

Jobs jon

10/9/2012 1:55:32 PM

Very bad news for American and NATO. Iraq is Iran’s right hand. What will eventually happen is: Syria will drag Turkey into full war, Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Iraq will fully support Syria, the later three openly. NATO will do nothing but watch. Turkey will face a total defeat, then US and NATO will get fully involved including other Arabs, Saudi, Jordon, Egypt, UAE, Qatar etc. WWIII - do you follow? Turkey and allies will be victorious. What will happen then is the bigger question?????

Shah Hamdan

10/9/2012 1:11:22 PM

Iraq is making very wise decision by purchasing Russian weapons. Russians are some what more reliable then American. Further it shows Iraq is inclined to Russia, China and Iran block rather then western block.

Sid Mark

10/9/2012 10:05:52 AM

Any S300 on the menu?
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