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The Pentagon formally announced Thursday that it plans to send two Navy warships into the Black Sea as a “prudent precaution” in case of a terrorist attack at the Sochi Olympics — but officials stressed that responsibility for security at the games rests with Russia.
Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, emphasized that the Russian government is taking Olympic security “very, very seriously.” He said that while the United States is ready to assist, there have been “no such requests, and we don’t envision any.”
Military officials have said that the warships could be used to evacuate Americans in the event of an attack, but security analysts have discounted the possibility that Russian President Vladimir Putin would ask for help.
Kirby also dismissed the possibility that American technology to detect and defend against remote-controlled bombs could be shared with the Russians during the Olympics.
Discussions earlier this week between Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his Russian counterpart were only preliminary, Kirby said.
Russia is spending an estimated $50 billion on the games and has vowed that they will be safe. Islamist militants from the turbulent Caucasus region, several hundred miles from Sochi, have warned that they plan to attack the Olympics.
The Olympic opening ceremony is Feb. 7.