Iraq needs Russian assistance in its military and defense sectors, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stressed on Monday.
Arab media reports have said that al-Maliki, currently visiting Moscow, will discuss a host of potential economic, political and military projects with Russia worth an estimated $5 billion.
“Some people describe this visit as solely about arms purchases. But that is not the case,” he said, responding to media reports previewing his trip.
“Of course, we need Russia’s support in the military and defense areas. Iraq needs weapons to defend itself and fight terrorism,” the prime minister added, particularly highlighting the country’s need for those used in combat in mountainous and desert terrains.
Asked how the Iraqi authorities will explain Russian arms purchases to the United States, al-Maliki replied by saying that his country did not consult anyone regarding arms purchases.
He added that the country is willing to work with everyone. “We have good relations both with the US and with Iran,” he added.
On Tuesday, al-Maliki is expected to discuss cooperation in military technology with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and on Wednesday he is due to meet with President Vladimir Putin.