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Mon Nov 24 23:30:58 SAST 2014

Iraq cancels $4.2 billion Russia arms deal over corruption concerns

Sapa-AFP | 10 November, 2012 11:43
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) welcomes Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow October 10, 2012. File photo.
Image by: POOL / REUTERS

Iraq has cancelled a $4.2 billion package of arms deals with Russia over corruption concerns, a spokesman for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Saturday.

"The deal was cancelled," Ali Mussawi told AFP.

"When Maliki returned from his trip to Russia, he had some suspicions of corruption, so he decided to review the whole deal... There is an investigation going on, on this."

Mussawi declined to say who specifically was being investigated, or if Iraq would begin new negotiations with Moscow.

He also did not say exactly when the final decision was made to stop the deal.

The Russian embassy in Baghdad was not available for comment.

The massive deal was agreed a month ago when a delegation led by Maliki visited Russia. Had it been finalised and implemented, it would have made Russia Baghdad's second-biggest arms supplier, after the United States.

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