Al-Maliki delivers a speech at the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Moscow
Moscow – Agencies
Russia has confirmed that it signed more than $4.2 billion in arms deals with Iraq during the second half of the year, making it into the nation's largest weapons supplier after the United States.
A joint statement issued after talks between Iraqi
Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki and Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev said the deals were agreed during delegation visits this year and totalled to more than $4.2 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 under way 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 again in July and August during visits to Russia by Iraqi delegations that included Defence Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi.
Maliki's talks with Medvedev were due to be followed on Wednesday by a meeting with President Vladimir Putin that was expected to also focus on new Russian energy deals in the oil-rich Middle East state.