VLADIVOSTOK, July 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s special services will not be alone in ensuring security for athletes and visitors during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in the southern Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, the chief of Russia’s Security Council said Thursday.
“We are working to prepare for the Sochi Olympics and are paying priority attention to the issue of security,” Nikolai Patrushev said at an international security conference in the Russian Far Eastern city of Vladivostok attended by representatives from 65 countries and many international organizations.
“Security will be ensured by special services from not only Russia but from a number of leading world countries as well,” Patrushev said. “Activities aimed at ensuring security are being coordinated now.”
Federal counter-terrorism officials on Wednesday pledged safety at the international sports events to be held in Russia as a Chechen militant leader called on Islamist fighters to “compromise” the Sochi Olympics.
The National Antiterrorist Committee, or NAK, said in a statement that “despite calls by various gang leaders … active in certain regions of the North Caucasus, all of Russia’s state institutions, special services and law enforcement bodies are constantly implementing a set of measures aimed at providing security for Russian citizens.”
The NAK statement was issued after Doku Umarov - leader of the Imarat Kavkaz, a North Caucasus militant group recognized as a terrorist organization both by Russian and US authorities - called on Islamist fighters “not to allow” the Winter Olympic Games to be held as planned in the Black Sea resort in February 2014.
Earlier, Umarov claimed responsibility for several high-profile terrorist attacks in Russia, including suicide bombings in the Moscow metro in 2010 and at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport in 2011. In a harsh response to Umarov’s threats, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov vowed on Wednesday to eliminate the notorious warlord before the start of the Sochi Olympics.
The 2014 Sochi Winter Games are widely regarded as an opportunity for Russia to showcase its economic achievements under President Vladimir Putin.