Turkey Warns U.S. Push on Russian Missiles Could Backfire

American demands that Turkey scrap a Russian air-defense system could boomerang, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman warned.

“If another country comes to us with a maximalist position and demands, you know, ‘It’s either my way or the highway,’ then that kind of attitude pushes you in other directions,” Ibrahim Kalin said in an interview in Istanbul on Saturday.

The Pentagon says the Russian S-400 defense missiles could help Russia gather critical intelligence on NATO allies. Turkey disputes that and has said it won’t compromise on the missiles unless the U.S. ends its support for Syrian Kurdish fighters affiliated with Kurdish militants seeking autonomy in southeast Turkey.

“The U.S. side must understand Turkey’s national security interests,” Kalin said. “We want to see concrete action by our allies.”

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