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US to cooperate with Russia, IOC on security at Sochi Olympics

January 05, 2014, 23:37 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
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WASHINGTON, January 05, 22:36 /ITAR-TASS/. U.S. will cooperate with Russia and the International Olympic Committee in ensuring security during the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi next month, Dr. Janet Napolitano, the former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary said Sunday.

Napolitano will lead the U.S. governmental delegation at the Games.

“Security has always been an issue with the games,” she said in an interview with NBC television making an allusion to the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich where eleven Israeli athletes were killed.

“And so the questions are the logical ones, have appropriate preparations been made?” Napolitano went on. “Do we have good liaison between the United States and the International Olympic Committee and with the host nation and the like? And then just making sure that everyone who's attending the games knows to be alert, attentive to their surroundings…”

She mentioned the political underpinnings many analysts had perceived in the way that the leaders of the U.S. delegation had been appointed.

“There have always been politics, at least in my memory, there have always been some politics surrounding the games, particularly in the weeks and the immediate lead-up,” Napolitano said. “Once the athletes start going down the runs and doing the skating and the first women's team member to be ski jumping, the attention will turn” to the sports competition and away from politics.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Saturday a recent telephone conversation with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu the was going to assist Russia in ensuring security during the Sochi Games if the Russian government made a request for this, the Pentagon’s official spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

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