White House: After Attacks, U.S. Open to Closer Olympics Security Cooperation With Russia

  • Share
  • Read Later
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

After two bombings in southern Russia in as many days raised concerns about security before the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi, American officials say they are open to expanding their security cooperation with the Russian Federation.

“The U.S. government has offered our full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games, and we would welcome the opportunity for closer cooperation for the safety of the athletes, spectators and other participants,” National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said on Monday. The U.S. government quickly condemned the pair of bombings, which killed at least 31 people, in Volgograd, a little more than 400 miles from Sochi, where the Winter Olympics will be held in February. President Barack Obama was briefed on the attacks during his vacation in Hawaii.

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said Monday that “in terms of security for Sochi, U.S. citizens planning to attend should remain alert regarding their personal security at all times.” American security officials have been working with Russian counterparts for months, particularly when it comes to the security of the American delegation.

“People should also be reminded that threats have been made against the Olympic Games and acts of terrorism, including bombings, continue to occur in Russia,” Harf said, adding she was unaware of any specific threats on Americans at the Games.

Security issues are one of the bright notes in the complex U.S.-Russia relationship. While the two countries don’t often see eye to eye on trade or regional issues, they have maintained close counterterrorism ties. Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have a strained personal relationship that has been on display at several recent international summits, with Obama saying in September that efforts to expand the relationship between the two countries had “hit a wall.” U.S. and Russian officials have tangled over issues as varied as the Syrian civil war and gay rights, with Obama appointing a low-level delegation to the Olympics, as well as several gay athletes, in protest of Russia’s anti-gay laws. “We always cooperate with the Russians on counterterrorism,” Harf said on Monday.

In 2011, Russian security and intelligence services encouraged American officials to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. After the attack, U.S. and Russian officials shared intelligence about Tsarnaev as part of the investigation, including details on Tsarnaev’s six-month visit to Dagestan in the North Caucasus, a region less than 400 miles from Sochi that is home to an Islamic insurgency.

The Associated Press reported that Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren told reporters on Monday that the military-to-military relationship between the two countries “is as good as it’s ever been.”

6 comments
ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

With Comrade Putin open contempt for this dithering President of ours, doubtful if will even acknowledge the offer for help.

mahmoodadvocate
mahmoodadvocate

The U.S. government has offered our full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games which is welcomed by the Russia its a good offer by the America and it can be helpful for the Russia and it will also be fruitful to make good relationships between each others i wish that may peace be spread every where in this world and new year be filled with Happiness and Peace for whole world

http://www.consumerspk.com/damages-of-rs-20000-on-faulty-mobile/



micbedn
micbedn

If Russia couldn't provide adequate security, they souldn't have been granted the Olympics.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

The two suicide bombings in Volgograd are disturbing for a couple of reasons.

The most obvious is that with the winter Olympics right around the corner it's clear that the Chechin rebels will undoubtedly use that occasion to promote their terrorism and their cause. (I don't know what their cause is)  Their targets could be located in Sochi but don't have to be to be effective.  The fact that the world's attention is now on Russia is enough if more suicide bombings occur in other parts of Russia.

Another reason is that the Chechnian rebellion is still very much alive.  I haven't heard much from the news media about this lately but these two bombings illustrate that Russia has yet to defeat this movement.  This means even without Sochi there is more to come.

One other reason that comes to mind is that the use of terrorism, especially the suicide aspect of it, indicates a desperation on the part of the perpetrators.  If one cannot defeat ones enemy on the battlefield then one resorts to suicide attacks.  This may mean that Russia has the upper hand in this conflict.  But the cost for both sides is terrible.