On Sunday Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump spoke over the phone following the thwarting of an ISIS-like terrorist attack against Russia’s St. Petersburg. The attack was stopped after Russia’s FSB received an intelligence tip from America’s CIA.
Information from a statement made by the Kremlin alleges that Putin personally thanked Donald Trump for the critical information he received that helped stop the terror attacks. The attacks themselves were set to take place at St Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral and around other areas of the city.
The FSB reported that a total of seven members of an ISIS-inspired terrorist cell has been arrested for their involvement in the planned attack. The report noted that a “significant” amount of munitions as well as “extremist literature” were collected by authorities.
The report went on to say that the information provided by the CIA was adequate to justify the arrest of the suspects. Trump was asked by Putin to give his thanks to Mike Pompeo, the CIA director and the other intelligence workers who found the relevant information.
The FSB report continued by saying that Putin had assured Trump that if Russian intelligence encounters information suggesting a terror threat to the United States it would be immediately sent to Washington.
The White House stated to the press that Donald Trump “appreciated” the correspondence and made a note of the importance of the US and Russia cooperating in defeating terrorism internationally.
It was noted that both Trump and Putin acknowledged that this was an example of the good outcomes that can be achieved when both countries cooperate. Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, used Twitter to convey a message confirming that the two leaders had spoken and that a full readout of the call was to be released.
This phone call closely followed another conversation Putin and Trump had over the phone in the last few days. In the last call the leaders discussed US-Russian cooperation in regards to the escalating tensions around North Korea.
The relationship between Putin and Trump is interesting if not complicated to say the least. Rumours confirmed by US intelligence firms have stated that the Kremlin had meddled in 2016 US election to aid Donald Trump.
This example of foreign meddling in domestic politics was referenced by Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull in his latest crackdown on foreign interference.
Putin has continually denied any accusations of Russian involvement in overseas politics.