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Putin Addresses Security Concerns at Sochi Olympics

  • Michael Bowman

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers a journalist's question during a televised news conference in Sochi, Jan. 19, 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers a journalist's question during a televised news conference in Sochi, Jan. 19, 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country will do “whatever it takes” to ensure security at the upcoming Olympics in Sochi. Putin’s comments come less than three weeks before the start of the Winter Games, and amid a continuing terrorist threat in his nation.

The Russian leader spoke resolutely about massive security preparations in and around Sochi.

“The job of the Olympics host is to ensure security of the participants and visitors. We will do whatever it takes,” he said.

Putin spoke in an interview that aired on ABC’s This Week program.

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for Americans planning to attend the games, saying the event presents “an attractive target for terrorists.” Last month, suicide bombers carried out deadly attacks in Volgograd, some 650 kilometers north of Sochi.

The Russian leader said security operations extend well beyond the Olympic Games.

“We have adequate means available to us through the [Russian] Federal Security Service, the Interior Ministry, and armed forces units that will provide security. If necessary, all those tools will be activated,” he said.

Putin said care is being taken to ensure that rigorous security operations to not impede the Olympic Games.

Asked about Russian laws targeting homosexuals, Putin asserted that everyone has equal rights in his country. He described Russia’s treatment of gay people as “softer” than that of other countries where homosexuality is a capital offense. He said Russia does not criticize other nations’ laws, and that Russia’s laws deserve the same respect from the international community.

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