STRELNA (St. Petersburg) (Sputnik) — Russia and Iraq continue to actively collaborate in the defense industry sector, Putin said Tuesday.
"We still have a lot to do in terms of economic cooperation. But have other areas [of collaboration], defense industry cooperation in particular. Russia has been active in this area and assists Iraq," Putin said at his meeting with Iraqi Vice President Nouri Maliki.
Putin also stressed that Russia was closely following the situation in the Middle East, noting that it remains complicated both in Iraq and the region as a whole. He also called on Maliki to discuss the situation in the Middle East rather than just bilateral relations in general.
On Sunday, Maliki arrived in Russia for a working visit. The vice president has already held a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the speaker of the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's Parliament, Valentina Matvienko.
On July 20, 2017, an aide to the Russian president on defense industry cooperation confirmed that a contract with Iraq on the sale of a "large batch" of modernized T-90MS tanks had been signed.