By Nick Butler in the Pushkin Hall at the Main Press Centre in Sochi

Dmitry Kozak and Dmitry Chernyshenko each provided assurances that Sochi will be the "safest city in the world" during the Games ©ITGFebruary 6 - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak has guaranteed the safety of all people here following a warning that bombs may be carried into Russia disguised as toothpaste.

Speaking this morning after sporting action got underway one day ahead of the Opening Ceremony tomorrow, Kozak said he could "guarantee the safety of people as well as any other Government hosting a mass event".

"I think the level of fear should be lower and I'm sure the security level in Sochi is no worse than in New York, Washington or Boston, or in any other city", he said. 

This follows reports of a warning overnight by the United States Department of Homeland Security to both domestic and foreign airlines that toothpaste containers, or other similar cosmetic tubes, could be used to store the ingredients for a bomb to be assembled aboard an aircraft.

Kozak said he has no reaction to these allegations because the information is still being validated but, if true, it shows the security services are very good and doing their job.

A similar view of reassurance was provided by Sochi 2014 chief executive and President Dmitry Chernyshenko when he outlined how "colleagues from the US are in permanent contact with our security service and they have no concerns".

This comes in the growing climate of fear in recent months following two terrorist attacks in successive days in the city of Volgograd to the north of Sochi in December. 

Kozak, pictured with IOC President Thomas Bach earlier this week, would not confirm the validity of "toothpaste bomb" allegations ©Getty ImagesDmitry Kozak, pictured with IOC President Thomas Bach earlier this week, would not confirm the validity of "toothpaste bomb" allegations ©Getty Images

Kozak and Chernyshenko spoke alongside Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov and Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, but it was the Deputy Prime Minister who answered most questions as he provided reassurances about a number of issues.

Foremost once again was the issue of gay rights - with Kozak insisting "nothing will happen" regarding the persecution of gay people during the Games because "we do not differentiate between people depending on sexual orientation, religion or nationality.

"Please do not touch kids, that is the only thing, because that is prohibited by law in all countries as well as the IOC Charter," he added, in reference to a Russian law banning the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to children.

Kozak was also frank in criticising journalists, from Russia as well as the Western world, for the allegations of corruption surrounding construction contracts for the Games - which he sees as irresponsible without proof. 

"There should be a presumption of innocence,", he insisted.  

"We are all representatives of democratic countries here and if you are talking about corruption this should be proved.

"We did our best to organise fully fledged controls and I can't say anything about corruption because nothing has been proved legally."

Dmitry Kozak challenged journalists to find proof for their allegations of corruption which have dogged the build-up to Sochi 2014 ©AFP/Getty ImagesDmitry Kozak challenged journalists to find proof for their allegations of corruption, which have dogged the build-up to Sochi 2014 ©AFP/Getty Images

Regarding allegations that workers preparing facilities for the Games have not been paid, Kozak admitted this was the case for a small number of people, but by February 14 this problem should have been addressed..

Chernyshenko, who expressed his excitement concerning an Olympic Games which "started today at 10am" and looks forward eagerly to tomorrow's Opening Ceremony, also played down concerns over the state of hotels for the media and other officials.

"We have already accommodated more than 25,000 people and any minor concerns have already been fixed," he said.