US ready to support Russia for Sochi Olympics security

Winter-Olympics-Sochi

Washington, Jan 21: The US said its military stands ready to offer full support to Russia in its security preparations for the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics.

“The US has offered its full support to the Russian government as it conducts security preparations for the Winter Olympics,” Xinhua quoted Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby as saying in a statement Monday.

“To that end, US commanders in the region are conducting prudent planning and preparations should that support be required,” Kirby said.

US air and naval assets, including two navy ships in the Black Sea, will be available if requested by Russia for “all manner of contingencies” through consultation, he said, adding that so far Russia had not made such request.

This was the second time in this month that the US has offered to provide security assistance to Russia to ensure the safety of the Sochi Winter Olympics, to be held Feb 6-23. On Jan 4, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu to discuss the recent terror attacks in Russia, while promising to provide security assistance for the Winter Olympics if requested.

Two suicide bombings struck in Volgograd Dec 29 and Dec 30 separately, leaving at least 34 people dead and scores of others wounded.

According to media reports Monday, Sochi police were searching for a suspected member of the “Black Widow”, a militant group, who planned to launch a terror attack during the games. A video was posted online Sunday, in which two suicide bombers believed to have launched the Volgograd attacks warned they had “prepared a present” for tourists who will attend the Winter Olympics. IANS