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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid