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German minister: Olympic Sochi will be a safe place

February 04, 2014, 16:23 UTC+3 BERLIN
Thomas de Maiziere said major events, including Olympic Games, were often a centre of attraction for criminals, which is why “the threat cannot be ruled out completely”
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A Russian cossack and a police officer walking past a poster featuring one of the symbols of the Sochi Olympics

A Russian cossack and a police officer walking past a poster featuring one of the symbols of the Sochi Olympics

© ITAR-TASS/EPA/ANATOLY MALTSEV

BERLIN, February 04. /ITAR-TASS/. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, who will represent the German government at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, expressed confidence on Tuesday that the Olympic Sochi would be a safe place.

“Russian authorities are doing all to protect athletes and guests,” said the minister who is also responsible for sports issues. “I am sure they will manage that,” he told Sky Deutschland television.

The minister said major events, including Olympic Games, were often a centre of attraction for criminals, which is why “the threat cannot be ruled out completely”. “However, I believe these days it will be safer in Sochi than in any other part of the globe,” Thomas de Maiziere said.

Russian authorities, including President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev repeatedly stated that Russia took unprecedented measures for security provision at the upcoming Winter Olympics. President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach, who is visiting Sochi since last week, also praised on Monday security measures provided at the Games.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere will be representing Germany at the Sochi Olympics. Last month, German President Joachim Gauck wished success for the country’s national team, but said he would not be attending the Sochi Olympics. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would think about visiting the Games in Sochi, but added that she had never visited Olympics since she assumed her current post little over eight years ago.

The Sochi Olymics will open on February 7 and will run until February 23, to be followed by the Paralympic Games, due from March 7 to March 16. Germany will be represented by 153 athletes, which will make it the fifth biggest national delegation to the Sochi Olympics after the United States, Russia, Canada and Switzerland.

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