Nov 10, 2012 21:28 Moscow Time
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Iraqi Defence Minister Saadun al-Dulaimi has dismissed reports that his country has cancelled all $4.2bln dollars worth of its arms contracts with Russia, signed in Moscow in October during a visit by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
He said the contracts are on track, if only slightly delayed by a probe into possible corruption in them.
Iraq wants to procure a variety of Russian-made weaponry, including anti-aircraft missile batteries.
The Minister added that within the month the two sides were expected to reach a final agreement.
Earlier, there were reports that the contracts were delayed over a probe into possible corruption.
According to the Defense Minister, rumors in the media aimed to derail contracts for Iraq’s procuring weaponry.
According to the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Iraq needs Russian-made weaponry and will consider new contracts to procure it.
Earlier on Saturday, there were reports that Iraq had annulled all $4.2bln worth of its arms contracts with Russia that were signed in Moscow in October during a visit by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Russian officials and analysts said they believed the decision had been made under pressure from the US. They also warned the Iraqis of penalties.
Iraq has annulled all $4.2bln worth of its arms contracts with Russia, that were signed in Moscow in October during a visit by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Officials in Russia’s defence industry have said they believe it did so under pressure from the United States. They also reminded the Iraqis that they will now have to pay millions of dollars in penalties.
There have been conflicting reports about whether Iraq has withdrawn from its agreement with Russia to procure $4.2bln worth of Russian-made arms.
France Presse quotes Iraqi officials as saying it has, while Russian diplomats in Baghdad say it hasn’t.
Leading Russian arms trade analyst Dr Igor Korotchenko has warned the Iraqis that they will have to pay millions of dollars in penalties in the event they cancel the contracts. He also said he believes the Americans are trying to dissuade Iraq from procuring Russian arms.
Voice of Russia, TASS, Interfax, RIA