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Iraq and Russia Going Ahead With $4 Billion Arms Deal

Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Hoshyar Zebari confirmed that Baghdad will go ahead with the arms deal it signed with Russia in 2012, but is waiting on the budget approval to begin payment, reports Ali Abel Sadah.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari gestures as he attends the joint Iraqi-Kuwaiti committee meeting in Baghdad, April 29, 2012. REUTERS/Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Pool (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR31DML
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The Iraqi government is awaiting the parliament’s approval of the 2013 federal budget to pay Russia the money owed for the weapons deal. Meanwhile, Iraqi and Russian officials have confirmed that they will not cancel the arms agreement between the two countries, despite accusations of corruption. The dispute over the deal intensified when Ali al-Mussawi, the media adviser to the Iraqi prime minister, announced in December 2012 the cancellation of the arms deal with Russia, worth $4.2 billion, due to “corruption concerns.”

At the time, Mussawi said, “Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who had visited Moscow to sign the agreement, was determined to renegotiate.”

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