News / Europe

    US Emphasizes Close Cooperation With Russia on Olympic Security

    FILE - White House press secretary Jay Carney speaks during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Jan. 22, 2014.
    FILE - White House press secretary Jay Carney speaks during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Jan. 22, 2014.
    The White House and U.S. officials say Washington and Moscow are cooperating closely on security for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Officials briefed reporters Friday on preparations.

    President Barack Obama's spokesman was asked for updates on steps to ensure security for the 230 U.S. athletes, 270 coaches and support staff, and possibly as many as 10,000 Americans, expected in Sochi. Jay Carney said the United States remains in regular contact with the Russian government, adding that State Department diplomatic security and FBI teams are in place in Sochi.

    Against the background of concerns that American athletes have voiced about security for family members traveling to Sochi, Carney said Washington knows the Russian government takes seriously the need to make the Games safe.

    "We have no doubt that it is in their absolute interest to take all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and security of the Olympic Games, and we are working with them and other nations in taking the precautions that we can take, mindful of the fact that Russia as the host nation has the lead in security," said Carney.

    Carney said the U.S. offer of assistance to Russia stands. Asked if a request has been received, he said he could not detail conversations.

    As previously announced, two U.S. Navy ships are being sent to the Black Sea. Sochi is located on its northeast coast.

    Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was asked Friday about planning for a potential evacuation of Americans should it become necessary in the event of any terrorist attack. "We've had conversations with the Russian government on the protection of our citizens; of course, if we need to extract our citizens, we will have appropriate arrangements with the Russians to do this.”

    Senior administration officials briefing reporters said no specific evacuation plan is in place. Officials said Hagel was referring to a "mutual understanding" between U.S. and Russian defense officials about coordination if there was a need to evacuate.

    The officials also said there had been no formal request by the Russian government for technology to help counter Improvised Explosive Devices [IEDS], but that the U.S. and Russia have had general discussions on this topic.

    They noted that an increase in threat reporting around the Olympics comes from intelligence and media reports, adding that close attention is being paid to all of them.   

    They said among threats they are watching closely are media accounts of female suicide bombers and a video posted online claiming responsibility for the attacks that killed more than 30 people in Volgograd [700 kilometers from Sochi] earlier this month.

    The senior administration officials said American diplomatic security teams will accompany U.S. teams to all venues, acting as a liaison with Russian government security services.

    A State Department travel warning issued earlier this month made note of the Volgograd attacks and said large-scale public events - such as the Olympics - present an attractive target.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora