Return of Syrian refugees a 'priority', Russia's Lavrov tells UN

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Russia begins delivering S-300 missile system to Syria as Russian FM says relations with USA are at "all-time low".

Denouncing their use of "political blackmail, economic pressure, and brute force", Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov mounted the podium of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday to accuse Western States of seeking to retain their self-proclaimed status as 'world leaders.' "We hear loud statements that not only call into question the legal validity of worldwide treaties, but also declare the priority of self-serving unilateral approaches over the decisions taken in the framework of the United Nations", he told world leaders on the fourth day of the Assembly's annual general debate.

Moscow says it has started delivering the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system to Syria.

The Russian-made S-300 PMU-2 air defense missile system can intercept air attack assets at a distance of more than 250 km and engage several air targets simultaneously.

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The September 17 incident was perhaps inevitable sooner or later because of intensive Israel Air Force activity against the Iranian presence in Syria and the transfer of advanced weapons to Hizballah. However, in Syria shifted the responsibility for the downed Il on Israel.

The delivery comes despite strong objections by Israel and the United States.

"We know that pressure is being applied to Staffan de Mistura", said Lavrov, adding that "it would be a grave mistake" to force the warring sides to begin work without an agreement.

"We think introducing the S-300s to the Syrian government would be a significant escalation by the Russians and something that we hope, if these press reports are accurate, they would reconsider", he said on Monday.

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In turn, the Israeli prime minister warned Putin about unpleasant consequences that could result from the deal, saying handing over advanced weapons systems to irresponsible hands will increase dangers in the region.

A dispute between Israel and Russian Federation could restrict Israel's ability to mount air raids inside Syria on what it considers the greatest threat to its security from the Syria conflict: the build-up of Iranian forces or Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters.

Iran and Syria have exchanged warnings with Israel at a time of heightened tensions as Russian Federation prepared to deploy new air and missile defenses to prevent its allies in a protracted civil war from being targeted by their longtime foe.

Russia, with main strategic ties to both Iran and Israel, has criticized intervention not approved by the Syrian government, but has mostly looked the other way in terms of Israeli attacks. Until last week's incident, such remarks were effectively prohibited in public in Russian Federation, because officials were certain that the person at the top-President Vladimir Putin-objected to them.

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