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Iraq to renegotiate $4.2 bn arms deal with Russia

14 November, 2012

BAGHDAD: Iraq will renegotiate the $4.2- billion arms deal which it initially agreed upon with Russia as allegations of bribe being paid for it have emerged.

"The Iraqi government has not signed any deals to purchase arms from Russia so far, but the process of buying arms from Russia is going on because Iraq needs such weapons to protect itself," said Iraqi government spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh.

"The Iraqi National Security Council has decided on Sunday to fully renegotiate with Russia on the purchase of arms and that a new committee had been formed for this purpose," Dabbagh said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's media advisor Ali al- Mousawi told reporters that Maliki decided to renegotiate the agreements of the arms package with Moscow after he was informed about possible corruption in the contract.

In October, Maliki had agreed with Moscow to purchase Russian weapons, which would make Russia the second-largest arms supplier to Iraq after the US.

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