The U.S. military has no plans to assist the Russian government in securing the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi, nor specific plans to rescue U.S. citizens in case of an attack, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday.
Despite some press reports to the contrary, the U.S. is not sharing with the Russians any gear that could counter improvised explosive devices, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said. The U.S. military developed advanced technology and procedures during wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that can detect such weapons and interrupt radio frequencies to detonate them.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed such a prospect during a meeting with his Russian counterparts earlier this week. A string of media outlets, including ABC, reported the discussion amounted to a tacit offer of assistance, and that Russian officials had formally accepted.
"This was an informal discussion between Dempsey and his Russian counterpart," Kirby said on Thursday. "There is no formal request from the Russian government for that technology or assistance. There was no offer made by the chairman to provide technology or assistance in that regard."
Kirby also denounced reports that the U.S. had deployed two Navy ships to the Black Sea solely to provide assistance if called upon by the Russians. His office had issued a statement earlier this week saying two ships would be available in the Black Sea for support.
"They are not in the Black Sea now. I don't want to get ahead of the ship's movements," he said, adding the ships already had been planning to steam into the Black Sea for unrelated reasons.
Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command, had considered offering up the ships to assist the Russian government, Kirby said, but only in anticipation of the Russians possibly asking for help.
"The responsibility for security at the Olympics rests with the Russian government," Kirby said. "It's their responsibility and not anybody else's."
"There are no such requests and we don't envision any such demand" from the Russians, he added. "There has been no specific planning for evacuation. There has been no request to have a plan to do that right now."
Most Navy ships are able to deploy and receive helicopters and provide medical assistance. They also can serve as command-and-control centers if the need arises, Kirby said.