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)

Latest Headlines

today in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: April 16

cronkite

A look at the Hollywood headlines of years past.

yesterday in Viral Videos

How ‘Frozen’ Should Have Ended

How Frozen Should Have Ended

This "alternative ending" would have made Frozen a COMPLETELY different movie!

yesterday in Music

How you can earn $6K an hour

beyonce

Hint: You have to be Beyoncé.

yesterday in Entertainment

Hilary Duff to star in first TV series in a decade

hilaryduff

Hilary Duff will star in a new comedy from the man behind "Sex and the City."

yesterday in Viral Videos

This greeting card commercial will tug at your heartstrings

mom

Watch what happens when people apply for the #WorldsToughestJob.