MOSCOW (Sputnik) – In late July, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iraqi Vice President Nouri Maliki discussed the issue of supplying Russian T-90 tanks to Iraq.
"The deliveries of T-90 tanks to Iraq will begin soon in accordance with the previously signed contract. Negotiations on other sectors of defense industry cooperation are underway," Maksimov said.
"We always said on all levels that we are ready to provide comprehensive support to our Iraqi friends in boosting the military potential of the Iraqi army and security agencies, equipping them with the latest military equipment."
Maksimov added that Iraq had been an important partner for Russia in the Middle East in the fight against Daesh.
"Iraq has been making a significant contribution to the elimination of Daesh terrorist group. Carrying out a large-scale counter-terrorism operation in Iraqi territory, the authorities create the conditions for the eradication of the terrorists' bases in Iraq and for the weakening the capacity of Daesh in Syria," Maksimov added.
The tank is a third-generation Russian battle tank that entered service in 1993. It has its origins in a Soviet-era program aimed at developing a singular replacement for the T-64, T-72 and T-80 series of main battle tanks. The T-72 platform was selected as the basis for the new generation of tank due to its cost-effectiveness, simplicity and automotive qualities. The tank was chosen to protect Russia’s airbase in Syria as it is ideal for defending a stationary object in a desert environment.