Policy: National Security

Obama: Russia has 'enormous stake' in safe Olympics

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Russia,National Security,PennAve,Terrorism,Meghashyam Mali,Foreign Policy,Sochi

President Obama said that Russia and the U.S. were taking the steps necessary to guard against terrorism at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

“I think the Russians have an enormous stake, obviously, in preventing any kind of terrorist act or violence at these venues,” said Obama in an interview with NBC Sports’ Bob Costas set to air during the games' opening ceremony. “They have put a lot of resources into it.

“We're in constant communications with them, both at the law enforcement level, at the military level, at the intelligence levels, and it's not untypical of every Olympics, whether it's in Canada or China or any place else,” said Obama about the security preparations.

He added that the U.S. is “consistently working with them to make sure that not only our athletes are safe, but everyone who's attending these Games are safe.”

Obama’s comments come amid fears that terrorists could strike the Olympic Games.

On Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration banned all carry-on liquids on flights from the U.S. to Russia after warnings that terrorists might try to conceal explosives in toothpaste tubes.

The Obama administration has offered Russia security assistance. But many lawmakers have expressed concerns that Moscow is not fully cooperating or sharing all of its information on potential threats.

Obama on Tuesday received a Situation Room briefing on security preparations for Sochi. The White House said that it had offered Russia “full support and cooperation” and added that Moscow was “responsible for the Games.”

In an interview last week, the president said he believed the Sochi Games would be “safe”

“We're not discouraging in any way Americans from participating,” said Obama.

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