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Sochi 2014 to bring back together Russian and British intelligence services

Published time: May 11, 2013 15:50
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and British Prime Minister David Cameron during a helicopter inspection of the main Olympic venues in the Imereti Valley of Sochi. (RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and British Prime Minister David Cameron during a helicopter inspection of the main Olympic venues in the Imereti Valley of Sochi. (RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi)

The Russian and British intelligence services will resume contacts aborted in 2006 and work together to provide security for the 2014 Winter Games, president Vladimir Putin and UK’s prime minister, David Cameron have agreed.

UK will be providing “limited” support to ensure safety of athletes and guests during the Sochi 2014 winter games, Cameron said at the media-conference after the negotiations in the Olympic capital concluded late on Friday.  

"We both want the Sochi Games to be a safe and secure Games,” he added.

No details of how this cooperation will look like have yet been revealed, but Britain surely has a lot of experience to share in the sphere.

The London Olympics, it hosted in 2012, went on without any serious incidents, thanks to over 20,000 police and military personnel providing security during the event.

The Russian and British intelligence services have aborted cooperation 6 years ago, following Moscow's refusal to extradite Andrey Lugovoy, whom the UK suspects of involvement in the poisoning death of former FSB officer, Aleksandr Litvinenko, which occurred in London the same year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and British Prime Minister David Cameron during a helicopter inspection of the main Olympic venues in the Imereti Valley of Sochi. (RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi)
"Security service cooperation was suspended,"
Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, stressed as RBK Daily quoted him on Saturday. "It was frozen on the initiative of the British side, but nevertheless we are satisfied with their readiness to cooperate in the interests of ensuring the safe and peaceful organization of the Olympic Games in Sochi.”

After the talks, Putin and Cameron went on a helicopter tour of the venues being prepared for the Sochi Games’ kickoff on February 7, 2014.  

The aerial excursion included landing at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, which was designed by the British architects firm, Populous, and constructed with the assistance companies from the UK.

The 40,000-strong venue won’t see any sporting action during the Games as it’ll be used to host the opening and closing ceremonies.  

According to Cameron, more than 50 British companies are currently participating in the Sochi Olympics construction projects.