WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama says he believes the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, will be safe and is not discouraging Americans from attending.

Obama says Russian authorities ''understand the stakes'' involved in securing the games and the potential threats against the events. He says the U.S. is coordinating with Russia and officials have looked at the Russian security plans.

Still, Obama says there are ''always some risks'' involved with large international gatherings like the Olympics. And he says he feels better when those types of events are held in the United States because American officials have full control over what happen.

Obama spoke in an interview with CNN.

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