By Ali Abel Sadah for [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].
The Iraqi government is awaiting the parliament’s approval of the
2013 federal budget to pay Russia the money owed for the weapons deal.
Meanwhile, Iraqi and Russian officials have confirmed that they will not
cancel the arms agreement between the two countries, despite
accusations of corruption.
The dispute over the deal intensified when Ali al-Mussawi, the media
adviser to the Iraqi prime minister, announced in December 2012 the
cancellation of the arms deal with Russia, worth $4.2 billion, due to
At the time, Mussawi said, “Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who
had visited Moscow to sign the agreement, was determined to
Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Hoshyar Zebari (pictured) noted:
“Iraq and Russia will proceed with the arms deal signed by Maliki during
his most recent visit to Moscow.”
When the prospects of signing the contract turned bleak due to
corruption concerns, Iraqi Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi appeared
before the media to take responsibility for any corruption in the deal.
He also denied that the government had signed the agreement or that any
money had been paid.
In a press statement released on Feb. 22, 2013, Zebari affirmed that
“the government is waiting for parliament to approve the 2013 budget to
settle a down payment on the deal.”
The Iraqi parliament has been holding heated sessions for the past
three weeks. However, it is still unable to ratify the budget due to
disagreements between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds over financial shares.
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