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Russia seals USD 4.2 bn in arms deals with Iraq

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Mi-28N attack helicopter. A file photo.

MOSCOW (AFP): Russia has confirmed signing more than USD 4.2 billion in arms deals with Iraq during the second half of the year that make it into the nation's largest weapons supplier after the United States.

A joint statement issued after talks between visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev said the deals were agreed during delegation visits this year and totalled "more than USD 4.2 billion."

Earlier Russian reports in advance of Maliki's first visit to Moscow in nearly four years said the contracts would all be signed jointly this week and totalled some USD 4.3 billion.

The negotiations reportedly covered Iraq's purchase of 30 Mi-28 attack helicopters and 42 Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile systems that can also be used to defend against attack jets.

Further discussions were said to be underway for Iraq's eventual acquisition of MiG-29 jets and heavy armoured vehicles along with other weaponry.

The joint statement said the deals were initially discussed as early as April and revisited against in July and August during visits to Russia by Iraqi delegations that included Defence Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi.

"The delegation members familiarised themselves with the Russian military production, discussed the technical and commercial options of the offer with Rosoboronexport (state) supplier, and signed contracts worth more than USD 4.2 billion," the joint statement cited by Russian news agencies said.

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Russia  Iraq  Arms  
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