Iraq signs $4 bil­lion arms deal with Rus­sia

SP's MAI - - MILITARY -

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.

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