Iraq cancels $4.2 bn Russia arms deal 'over graft'

Iraq has cancelled a $4.2 billion (3.3 billion euro) package of arms deals with Russia over corruption concerns, a spokesman for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Saturday.

"The deal was cancelled," Ali Mussawi told AFP.

"When Maliki returned from his trip to Russia, he had some suspicions of corruption, so he decided to review the whole deal... There is an investigation going on, on this."

Mussawi declined to say who specifically was being investigated, or if Iraq would begin new negotiations with Moscow.

He also did not say exactly when the final decision was made to stop the deal.

The Russian embassy in Baghdad was not available for comment.

The massive deal was agreed a month ago when a delegation led by Maliki visited Russia. Had it been finalised and implemented, it would have made Russia Baghdad's second-biggest arms supplier, after the United States.

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