US Prepared to Evacuate Americans From Sochi

Air, naval assets will be on standby
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2014 12:17 AM CST
US to Russia: We Can Help With Olympic Security
A checkpoint leading up to the Olympic venues in the Olympics Park in Sochi, Russia.    (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

As Russia hunts "black widow" bombers believed to be targeting the Sochi Olympics, an offer of help has arrived from the Pentagon. The US military says it is "conducting prudent planning and preparations" in case American support is needed to deal with militant threats and it will have air and naval assets available, reports Reuters. That includes two warships stationed nearby in case US citizens need to be evacuated. "The United States has offered its full support to the Russian government as it conducts security preparations for the Winter Olympics," says a Pentagon spokesman.

The Pentagon has the contingency plans, ABC reports, but the State Department will have to take the lead as Russia may not be willing to allow American troops on its territory. Americans have been warned to be vigilant in Sochi—especially after militants promised a "present" for Olympic visitors—but with 40,000 Russian security forces in the city, security experts suspect any attacks during the Games are likely to happen elsewhere. (More 2014 Sochi Olympics stories.)

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