Former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki’s recent visit to Russia, which his office said was a protocol engagement, sparked controversy in Iraq as it reopened the wounds of what is described as corrupt military deals between the two sides.
Parliamentary and partisan sources criticized Maliki, who is the country’s vice president, for not saying anything to Russia’s foreign minister who arrived late for their meeting.
Maliki insisted on meeting Russian officials, all the way to President Vladimir Putin, in an attempt to attract a strategic ally that supports him, alongside Iran, during the next phase.
Sources said that although Maliki knows Russia does not have a role in his country, he coordinated the visit to Moscow without consulting with the Iraqi government or with Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.
According to some observers, Maliki wants to show his strength after his rule was marred by several controversies particularly regarding affairs related to corruption and investigation into Mosul falling into the hands of ISIS.
This article is also available in Arabic.