Erdoğan says Trump will not impose sanctions over Russian missile deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday that President Trump told him he would not impose U.S. sanctions on Turkey following the country’s move to purchase a Russian missile defense system.

Erdoğan told reporters at the Group of 20 summit in Japan that he had received personal reassurances from Trump that sanctions against Turkey would not be passed, stating that “no such thing will happen,” according to CNN.

{mosads}”For now it does not look like that. It is out of question between two strategic partners. I think it should not happen,” Erdoğan said when asked about the possibility of sanctions.

Turkey maintained that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and said it would not pose a threat to the alliance.

His comments come after the Trump administration raised the stakes on Turkey over its plan to buy a Russian missile defense system from Russia, threatening new repercussions that put billions of dollars on the line for both countries if Ankara agreed to go through with the deal.

The Pentagon announced earlier this month that it would pull Turkey from participation in building and maintaining the F-35 Lightning II fighter, moving industrial operations to other countries, unless the country gave up its plans to purchase the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system.

U.S. officials had made clear that the Trump administration would not accept the sale of F-35s to a nation that purchased missile defense technology from Russia, warning of security concerns.

“As we have very clearly communicated at all levels, Turkey will not receive the F-35 if Turkey takes delivery of the S-400 system. Thus, we need to begin unwinding Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program,” said Ellen Lord, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment.

But the Trump administration had made clear that Turkey would remain eligible to purchase the fighter jets if it reversed plans to purchase technology from Russia.

“None of the steps we are taking are irreversible,” Lord said at the time. “If Turkey chooses to forgo delivery of the S-400, we look forward to restoring normal program activity.”

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