SOCHI, Russia (AP) – President Vladimir Putin says Russia will do everything to ensure a safe Olympics without making the security measures too intrusive.
Putin, who was speaking to television networks in Sochi in a segment aired Friday by state Rossiya television, said Russia will do all that is necessary to protect the games, which start Feb. 7, without “putting pressure” on athletes and visitors.
Security concerns were heightened by back-to-back suicide bombings in the city of Volgograd in southern Russia, which killed 34 and wounded 100 others, on Dec. 29-30.
Putin denied the Olympics are a vehicle to satisfy his personal ambitions and insisted they serve national interests. He argued the Sochi Olympics will help Russia regain its pride following the Soviet collapse and two separatist wars in Chechnya.