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AMMAN, May 31 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has started fulfilling its recent arms exports contract with Iraq after receiving an advance payment from Baghdad, Russian Technologies (Rostech) CEO Sergei Chemezov said.
“The contract is being implemented, the production [of ordered equipment] has started,” Chemezov told RIA Novosti at the opening ceremony of a Russian grenade-launcher assembly facility in Jordan on Thursday.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki signed an arms package purchase agreement with Russia worth $4.2 billion during his visit to Moscow in October 2012.
The deal was suspended by Iraqi authorities a few weeks after the signing over suspicions of corruption. The Iraqi Parliament initiated an investigation into several officials suspected of taking kickbacks.
However, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in March 2013 that Iraq and Russia had initialed a revised deal and deliveries under the contract would start by summer.
The corruption investigation was closed shortly after but resumed in May. Iraqi officials said at the time the probe would not affect the Russian contract.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.