News

Obama says he believes Sochi games are safe

Obama says he believes Sochi games are safe

SOCHI 2014: U.S. President Barack Obama waves before he speaks at McGavock High School in Nashville, Jan. 30. Photo: Reuters/Larry Dow

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast on Friday that he believes the Russian city of Sochi is safe and that Americans who want to go to the Olympics should go.

Amid questions about whether Russian security is sufficient to head off the threat of militant attacks in Sochi, Obama told CNN in an interview that the Russians understand the stakes involved in playing host to the international event.

Asked what he would tell close friends who wanted to go to the Olympics, Obama said: “I’d tell them that I believe that Sochi is safe and that there are always some risks in these large international gatherings.”

But Obama said he would always feel better if the event were being held inside the United States “because then we have full control over what happens.”

U.S. officials have expressed concerns about the level of cooperation with Russian security officials. Obama said the United States has a good sense of the security plan Russia has put in place to protect the athletes and spectators.

“The Russian authorities understand the stakes here. They understand that there are potential threats that are out there. And we are coordinating with them. We’ve looked at their plans,” he said.

Obama said U.S. officials are not discouraging Americans from attending the Winter Games. Those who wish to go should check with the State Department and see what “prudent measures” they should take.

“What I would say is that if you want to go to the Olympics, you should go to the Olympics,” he said.

“In these large settings like this, there are always some risk involved,” he added.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Eric Beech)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Waterfront development deal done

Photo provided by the Port of Bellingham

The Port of Bellingham and an Irish developer will partner on the redevelopment of the waterfront.

in Local

Former County Councilman “Corky” Johnson passes away

Photo provided by Whatcom County

Clark “Corky” Johnson was a commissioner for eight years and a councilman for ten years.

in Local

Horseshoe Cafe closes, but set to reopen in a month

horseshoe

The Horseshoe Café has a new owner.

in Local Sports

Seattle sends Ramirez to Tampa Bay for Montgomery

Seattle Mariners' Erasmo Ramirez pitches in the first inning a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday, March 6, 2015, in Phoenix.

The Seattle Mariners have acquired left-hander Mike Montgomery from the Tampa Bay Rays for righty Erasmo Ramirez.

in Local Sports

Canucks win 2nd straight, beat Predators

Vancouver Canucks' Henrik Sedin (33), of Sweden, talks with Alexander Edler (23), of Sweden, during a timeout in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Phoenix Coyotes Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. The Coyotes defeated the Canucks 1-0.

The Vancouver Canucks beat the Predators 5-4 Tuesday night to avoid being swept by Nashville.