China has 'complete faith' in Sochi security

Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:59pm EST
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By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is confident that Russia will be able to guarantee security at next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi, officials said on Tuesday.

To ease fears over possible breaches of security, President Vladimir Putin has ordered safety measures beefed up nationwide after 34 people were killed last month in bombings in Volgograd, another city in southern Russia.

While about 37,000 Russian personnel are providing security in the Sochi area, the United States in particular has expressed concern about the security situation.

China, though, is completely confident, Deputy Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told reporters in Beijing.

"China has complete faith that Russia has the ability to ensure the security of the Sochi Winter Olympics. I believe these games will be successful with this tight security," Cheng said.

"China has been in close touch and has coordinated with Russia about this."

Chinese President Xi Jinping is attending the opening ceremony of the February 7-23 Winter Olympics in a show of support for Putin, who has staked his political prestige on the success of the Games.

Xi's decision to attend is a positive development for Putin, after U.S. President Barack Obama and his German counterpart Joachim Gauck both said they would not travel to Russia for the Games.   Continued...

A general view of the Olympic Park is seen at the Adler district of Sochi, January 20, 2014. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk