Turkey blows off Trump threat of sanctions and vows to keep Russian missiles: report
US President Donald Trump and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan are at odds over the fate of an American pastor detained in Turkey (AFP Photo/Tatyana ZENKOVICH)

According to a report from Bloomberg, a spokesperson for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Tuesday that they will not bow before the threat of sanctions from Donald Trump and will not only keep missiles purchased from Russia, but will seek to further ties with the primary rival of the U.S.


The Trump administration has proposed selling Turkey U.S.-made Patriot missiles to replace the Russian S-400s however Turkey is thumbing its nose at U.S. offer -- even in the face of sanctions.

“They said they would not sell Patriots unless we get rid of the S-400s. It is out of question for us to accept such a precondition,” stated Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Erdogan, before adding, "An irrational anti-Turkish sentiment has prevailed in the Congress and it is not good for Turkish-American relations. They should know that such language of threat would push Turkey exactly toward places that they don’t want it turn to.”

According to the report, "Turkey, which has NATO’s second-largest military, denies it is walking away from the alliance, but its row with the U.S. over its purchase of the Russian S-400s is escalating. Congress is pushing for sanctions against Ankara over the objection of President Donald Trump, who says such a move could drive Turkey closer to Moscow."

"Trump has so far refrained from using a piece of legislation that allows the U.S. president to slap sanctions on any country that makes a sizable arms purchase from Russia," the report adds. "But a Senate committee recently approved a bill that would enforce the legislation, which could freeze Turkish assets in the U.S., restrict visas and limit access to credit."

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