CAIRO, November 10 (Itar-Tass) —— Iraq’s Defence Ministry refuted the information about calling off the contract for supplies of armoury from Russia, where the cost was 4.2 billion dollars.
“Nobody has called off the deal, and the contract is observed,” Iraq’s Defence Minister Saadun al-Dulaimi told a news conference in Bagdad on Saturday.
He said the two countries had been negotiating lower cost of the contract to receive better conditions.
“Iraq has received an offer, which we are studying, and within 30 days we are to approach a final agreement, though now we are facing a delay,” he said. “Thus, we shall have to organise new negotiations.” The minister stressed he bears full responsibility for any possible corruption about that deal. “Iraq has not transferred to Russia a single dinar as yet, and no agents have been involved in the deal yet,” he added.
The minister is convinced the fuss raised in the media had been aimed at depriving Iraq of armoury contracts.
“Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has formed a commission, which task is to re-launch negotiations with the Russian government on supplies of modern armoury under new contracts,” Iraq’s Al-Sabah newspaper reported representatives of the government as saying.
Earlier information was that Iraq has called off several contracts with Russia in the military-technical cooperation following a demand from the anti-corruption commission.
Iraqi Prime Minister's Spokesman Ali al-Moussavi said on Saturday that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki after having returned from Moscow in October “initiated a thorough checking of the agreements signed.” Al-Moussavi did not mention what governmental officials may be suspected but made it clear that most probably the contracts would be revised during negotiations with the Russian side.
Earlier, Iraqi parliament demanded from the government termination of contracts with Moscow and organisation of a new commission, where members are picked “most accurately and based on their professional skills.” The members of the commission were supposed to go back to Russia for negotiations and to sign new contracts on supplies of modern armoury.
During the second half of the current year, Moscow and Bagdad signed a series of contracts in military-technical sphere worth over 4.2 billion dollars, which became known before the early-October meeting of prime ministers of Russia and Iraq Dmitry Medvedev and Nouri al-Maliki.
In April, as well as in July-August of the current year, several delegations of Iraqi military experts, including acting Defence Minister Saadun al-Dulaimi visited Russia.