Iraq scraps $4 bn weapons deal with Russia

The Baghdad announcement cited graft concerns in Moscow for cancelling a transaction that would have made Russia Iraq’s biggest arms supplier after the US. The order approved by Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki when he visited Moscow on Oct. 9 was for 30 Russian Mi-28 helicopters, 42 Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile systems and eventually, Mi-G-29 fighters, along with heavy weaponry. DEBKAfile: Maliki suspects members of his own party of being involved in the corruption scandal leading President Vladimir Putin to sack Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov last week. The Russians suspects the Americans scuppered the deal.

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