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Olympic Committee officials say Russia's 2014 Olympics bid should not be hampered by political tensions

Russia's 2014 Winter Olympics bid should not be hampered by mounting political tensions between Moscow and the West.

The International Olympic Committee should stay "beyond politics" when it decides next month which city will host the games: Sochi, Russia; Pyeongchang, South Korea or Salzburg, Austria, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said.

Moscow has been at odds with some Western nations over U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in Poland and Czech Republic. Russian President Vladimir Putin, just days before he heads to the Group of Eight summit in Germany, also warned that Moscow could take "retaliatory steps" including possibly aiming nuclear weapons at targets in Europe, according to an interview released Monday.

"The Olympic Games are outside politics, as a rule or at least they should be," Zhukov said in Paris, where organizers of the Sochi bid gathered to respond to the IOC report. "I hope that is the case this time."

"I don't want to talk about politics today. Today is a very good day" for the Sochi Olympic bid, Zhukov added.

The IOC released an evaluation report earlier Monday that appeared to give Pyeongchang the edge and warning that Sochi's major infrastructure plans would need to be "tightly monitored."

The IOC announces the bid winner in Guatemala City on July 4.

The head of the Sochi bid, Dmitry Chernyshenko, said, "Russia is a great power ... That should give people confidence" in Sochi's Olympic bid despite the political tensions, he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a briefing in Beijing that the question about the shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria had not been resolved yet. However, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad said that S-300 missile systems had been delivered to Syria last month

Israel can learn many lessons with the help of Russia's S-300 air defence systems in Syria

Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems

Israel vows to destroy Russia's S-300 in Syria in case of danger
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