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Feb 6, 2014 8:16 AM by Associated Press

SOCHI SCENE: Russia says it's safe

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - The Russian government says it's doing everything possible to make sure the Sochi Games are as safe as possible. Officials are practically guaranteeing it.

Dmitry Kozak, a Russian deputy prime minister, says, "we can guarantee the safety of the people as well as any other government hosting a mass event (can)."

Kozak spoke Thursday, one day before the opening ceremony, about the steps Russia is taking to collaborate with nations across the globe to build a database on potential terrorists. He says that "there is no reason to believe Sochi, in Russia, is under more threat than any other city in the world."

Security concerns have been at the forefront of the Sochi Games for months. They were renewed this week when the U.S. Homeland Security Department warned airlines flying to Russia that terrorists may try to smuggle explosives into the country in tubes of toothpaste.

Kozak says the fear of terrorism is always present at big sporting events, in Russia or anywhere else. But he also believes "the level of fear should be lower" surrounding the Sochi Games.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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