US Impeding Military Cooperation between Russia, Iraq: Envoy


US Impeding Military Cooperation between Russia, Iraq: Envoy

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russia’s Ambassador to Iraq Elbrus Kutrashev criticized the US for hindering the expansion of military and technical cooperation between Moscow and Baghdad by showing unfair competition.

"The Iraqis like Soviet- and Russian-made weapons because they are very familiar with them. In addition, we have competitive prices. In this regard, of course, if we and the Iraqis were not interfered with by the Americans and their allies, I think this cooperation would have advanced to the level it was during the Soviet Union times," the Russian envoy told Sputnik.

Kutrashev pointed to Washington's unfair competition, saying that the United States "imposes its weapons and services on the Iraqis."

"The main things our Iraqi friends do not like are the price of American arms and maintenance costs, which are four times more expensive than of Russian arms," the ambassador said.

Kutrashev added that the US does not allow the Iraqi counterparts "to look inside the supplied equipment" and leave the maintenance of the delivered weapons to themselves.

"There is even a suspicion that something is hidden inside that should not be shown to anyone, including consumers," the ambassador said.

Moscow actively cooperated with Baghdad during the Soviet era, but then the cooperation stalled due to sanctions imposed on Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and lifted when former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was overthrown, Kutrashev recalled.