Rep. Peter King of New York said Sunday he cannot give American athletes a “100 percent guarantee” that next month’s Olympic Games in Russia will be totally secure.
“The fact is that these are going to be very much a threatened Olympics, probably more than any we’ve had in our past, more than Greece, certainly, more than London or China,” Mr. King, a Republican, told ABC’s This Week.
Tensions over the games in Sochi, a Black Sea resort town west of the restive North Caucasus region, have been exacerbated in recent months by December bombings in the southern Russian city of Volgograd and video threats to the games by extremists.
Meanwhile, the U.S. and Russian governments have engaged in fingerpointing over anti-terrorism efforts, saying they both want a secure games but haven’t received the type of cooperation they desire.
“We’ve offered, I think, to be more helpful than they’ll allow us to be,” Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat, told NBC’s Today Show. “And part of that is they probably don’t want to share all the threat information they have with us because of the distrust between our two intelligence agencies.”
The United States and Russia have performed a diplomatic tango for years, but the current climate has been clouded by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s decision to seek refuge in Moscow after leaking a trove of secret data about the government’s surveillance programs.
An April bombing at the Boston Marathon’s finish line didn’t help, either, after it became clear that the perpetrators — two brothers influenced by radical Islam — had roots in the Dagestan region of Russia.