Jan 21, 2020 08:14 UTC
  • Baghdad to send delegates to Russia, China, Ukraine to buy latest air defense systems: Iraqi MP

An Iraqi lawmaker says the Baghdad government is planning to send delegations to Russia, China and Ukraine to discuss the procurement of modern air defense missile systems to protect its territory from any possible act of aggression.

“The delegations intend to visit countries like Russia, China and Ukraine to negotiate the purchase of modern systems to protect Iraq’s airspace,” Badr al-Ziyadi, a member of the Parliamentary Security And Defense Committee, told Arabic-language al-Sabaah newspaper.

He added, “The Iraqi parliament is right now forming a joint executive and legislative delegation to visit developed countries and sign contracts on procuring advanced weapons.”

Ziyadi further noted that Iraqi lawmakers are looking into obtaining weapons in exchange for Iraqi oil shipments, similar to the “oil for reconstruction” agreement signed with China recently.

“Many nations have indicated [their] readiness to ship modern weapons to Iraq in exchange for oil. This is the best way to ensure the shipment of good weapons to Iraq without corruption and bribery,” the lawmaker said.

Ziyadi went on to say that the delegations would also hold talks over completing the installation of modern thermal imaging devices at the border, which will help detect and prevent any terrorist infiltration.

“The inadequate arming of border forces with modern weapons was the result of a mistake in relying on an agreement with the United States which spent enormous sums of money and never fully the finished [the project],” the legislator highlighted.

“This is why the Iraqis must count on themselves and turn to the eastern bloc to equip its army,” Ziyadi concluded.

On January 16, Ali al-Ghanmi, a member of the Parliamentary Security and Defense Committee, dismissed US threats to impose sanctions on Baghdad over its procurement of advanced Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems, saying such pressure is far away from realities on the ground.

He asserted that the US punitive measures over Russian S-400 missile systems would be simply formal sanctions, which would not actually materialize and would fall short of their objectives.

MG

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