News / USA

US, Russia Cooperate on Sochi Security

A police leaflet at a Sochi hotel, depicting Dzhannet Tsakhayeva (r) and Zaira Aliyeva, suspected of being suicide bombers, Jan. 21, 2014.
A police leaflet at a Sochi hotel, depicting Dzhannet Tsakhayeva (r) and Zaira Aliyeva, suspected of being suicide bombers, Jan. 21, 2014.
Kent Klein
In the face of terrorist threats, the United States is offering to help Russia strengthen security at next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi.  The offer could help to improve U.S.-Russian relations or cause them to deteriorate further.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says President Barack Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday about efforts to keep the Olympics safe.

"What I can tell you is that we are having conversations with the Russians.  We have made clear that we are prepared to provide any assistance that we can, if Russia asks for it, and we're going to continue to work with them," said Carney.

The two leaders spoke a day after the Pentagon said it offered Russia air and naval help to secure the Black Sea resort city of Sochi and the surrounding area.

James Goldgeier, dean of the School of International Service at Washington's American University, says despite their differences, Obama and Putin can work together when necessary.

"The relationship between President Obama and President Putin is clearly not a strong relationship," he said. "That doesn't mean they can't do business when they need to do business, and I expect when they identify common interests, they will do so."

The presidents' conversation took place as Russia searched for at least three potential female suicide bombers and faced other terrorist threats.  One of them is from an Islamic militant group that claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings last month in Volgograd.

Meanwhile, Israel says it has foiled al-Qaida's plans for a suicide attack on the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert, advising Americans who go to Sochi for the Olympics to be cautious.

Jay Carney says other U.S. security precautions are not out of the ordinary for a large international event.

"As you might expect, in the run-up to an event like this, there has been an uptick in some of the threat reporting, and we are taking precautions accordingly, but that is not unusual," he said.

While the presence of U.S. ships in the Black Sea could be seen as antagonizing Russia, James Goldgeier says it shows that Washington shares the world's interest in preventing a terrorist incident at the Winter Games.

"I don't know that it's antagonizing, but I think, you know, it is a sign that the United States worries that Russia alone is not able to take care of the situation, and so the United States is prepared to do whatever it takes, and it has to, to make sure that its people are safe," he said.

With differences between the two countries over Syria and Edward Snowden, who leaked U.S. intelligence documents and took asylum in Russia, many people on both sides hope the security cooperation at the Olympics will lead to better relations.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs