10 Oct '12, 1am

Russia gets $4.2 billion arms deals with Iraq, rivals US

MOSCOW — Iraq will purchase more than $4.2 billion of weapons from Russia under contracts signed in recent months, the Russian government said Tuesday, in a challenge to the Middle Eastern country's military ties with the United States. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is visiting Russia this week and plans to meet President Vladimir Putin Wednesday after Tuesday's talks with his counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev. "Iraq is sending a clear signal to the U.S. that it can conduct an independent policy," said Alexei Malashenko, a Middle East analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. "The message is: 'We can sign contracts with Russia if we like.'" Advertisement Iraq has bought about $6 billion of U.S. armaments, including F-16 jets, since a U.S.-led invasion and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, according to Igor Korotchenko, the head of the defense ministry's advisory coun...

Full article: http://www.stripes.com/news/europe/russia-gets-4-2-billio...

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