News

Obama says he believes Sochi games are safe

Obama says he believes Sochi games are safe

SOCHI 2014: U.S. President Barack Obama waves before he speaks at McGavock High School in Nashville, Jan. 30. Photo: Reuters/Larry Dow

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 international gatherings.”

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 take.

“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)

Recent Headlines

in Local

St. John’s Shifting Its Psychiatric Focus

Fresh
saint john's

Psychiatric ward will focus on elderly patients

in Local

Classes Resume at North Mac Intermediate School Carbon Monoxide Free

Fresh
carbon_monoxide

Classes resumed Thursday at North Mac Intermediate School, two days after a carbon monoxide leak sickened more than 140 students and adults.

in Election 2014, Local

Illinois Unemployment Rate Falls; Quickly Turns to Political Fodder

Fresh
unemployment

Illinois unemployment fell in August to 6.7 percent.

in Election 2014, Local

Libertarian Gov. Candidate to Stay on November Ballot

chad_grimm

A Sangamon County judge on Thursday rejected the Republican Party's attempt to have a Libertarian candidate for Illinois governor struck from the Nov. 4 ballot.

in Election 2014, Local

Rauner: Ethics Problems Are Quinn’s, Not Mine

Bruce Rauner (R), Pat Quinn

Rauner's firm owned a company which settled fraud charges with Georgia