Russian President Vladimir Putin called his American counterpart to thank him for the "information transmitted through the channels of US special services that has helped thwart terrorist acts in Russia", Kremlin said in a statement posted on its website on December 29. "The two presidents discussed a range of issues of mutual interest and agreed to continue bilateral cooperation in combating terrorism", the statement further read.
Terror plot targeted at St Petersburg foiled
According to reports, based on the information shared by the US security services, Russia detained two Russian nationals, who were suspected of preparing to carry out attacks at mass gatherings in St Petersburg, during New Year's holidays. Russian authorities said it had seized material from the suspects that confirms they were preparing terrorist acts.
This isn't the first time that US intelligence has helped to foil a terrorist attack in Russia. In December 2017, President Putin thanked his American counterpart for sharing intelligence that helped in thwarting a terrorist attack, targeting St Petersburg. Till now, White House hasn't commented about the conversation.
Russia-United States relations
The relation between the two nuclear-armed nations nose-dived in 2014, post-Russian annexation of Crimean peninsula and the United States retaliation by imposing sanctions on it. The relations were further strained when US intelligence agencies alleged that Russia interfered in the 2016 US Presidential elections, that led to the victory of President Donald Trump.
Despite strained relations, Presidents of both nations have appeared to be on good terms. Earlier this year, US President made an unusual statement, calling for Russia to be taken back into Group of 7 (G7) nations. Last month, Trump hinted that he might attend Russia's Victory Day celebrations on May 9, next year; that would mark 75th anniversary of Soviet's victory over Nazi Germany, during World War II.
Earlier this month, Putin spoke against Trump's impeachment by the House of Representatives, as being done for "far-fetched" reasons.