MOSCOW: A top Iraqi official said yesterday that Baghdad had begun receiving arms from Russia under a historic $4.3-billion deal it signed last year but then scrapped amid graft allegations. The October 2012 agreement promised to make Russia into Iraq’s second-largest arms supplier after the United States.
It also heralded Moscow’s return to a lucrative Middle East market it dominated in the Soviet era but where it suffered more recent reverses with the loss of allies in countries such as Libya.
But Iraqi officials announced at the start of the year that Baghdad had cancelled the contract due to corruption allegations that were not spelt out. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki’s top media adviser said yesterday that Baghdad had ultimately decided to keep the deal. AFP