says he believes Sochi is safe, Americans should go if they wish
Send a link to a friend
[January 31, 2014]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President
Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast on Friday that he believes
the Russian city of Sochi is safe and that Americans who want to go to
the Olympics should go.
Amid questions about whether Russian security is sufficient to
head off the threat of militant attacks in Sochi, Obama told CNN in
an interview that the Russians understand the stakes involved in
playing host to the international event.
Asked what he would tell close friends who wanted to go to the
Olympics, Obama said: "I'd tell them that I believe that Sochi is
safe and that there are always some risks in these large
But Obama said he would always feel better if the event were being
held inside the United States "because then we have full control
over what happens."
U.S. officials have expressed concerns about the level of
cooperation with Russian security officials. Obama said the United
States has a good sense of the security plan Russia has put in place
to protect the athletes and spectators.
"The Russian authorities understand the stakes here. They understand
that there are potential threats that are out there. And we are
coordinating with them. We've looked at their plans," he said.
Obama said U.S. officials are not discouraging Americans from
attending the Winter Games. Those who wish to go should check with
the State Department and see what "prudent measures" they should
[to top of second column]
"What I would say is that if you want to go to the Olympics, you
should go to the Olympics," he said.
"In these large settings like this, there are always some risk
involved," he added.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; editing by Eric Beech)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.