Iraq signs $4 billion arms deal with Russia
Russia will deliver attack helicopters and mobile air-defense systems to Iraq in arms deals worth $4.2 billion signed earlier this year. This was disclosed during a meeting between Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow recently.
Moscow will supply 30 Mil Mi-28NE night/all-weather capable attack helicopters, and 50 Pantsir-S1 gun-missile shortrange air defence systems. The contracts, among the biggest ever signed between Iraq and Russia, were signed in April, July and August by Iraq’s acting defence minister, according to documents released during alMaliki’s visit.
Arms industry analyst Ruslan Pukhov of the Center for Analysis of Strategy and Technologies, a Moscow-based think tank, said the deal showed Baghdad’s desire to break Washington’s monopoly of arms supplies to the new government there. “It’s clear that America’s influence on Iraq has been excessive. The Shiite government of this country is starting to conduct itself more independently of Washington, and more looking towards Iran,” he said.