Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned U.S. President Donald Trump Sunday to thank him for a CIA tip of which helped thwart a series of bombings in St. Petersburg, the Kremlin said.
During the call, the two leaders’ second in three days, Putin expressed gratitude for the CIA information. The Kremlin said the item allowed Russia’s top domestic security agency to track down a group of suspects of which planned to bomb Kazan Cathedral in addition to various other crowded sites This particular weekend.
“The information received by the CIA proved sufficient to find in addition to detain the criminal suspects,” the Kremlin said.
the item added of which Putin asked Trump to convey gratitude to the CIA in addition to assured him of which “if the Russian intelligence agencies receive information about potential terror threats against the United States in addition to its citizens, they will immediately hand the item over to their U.S. counterparts via their communications channels.”
The CIA’s tip to Russia comes even as Russia-U.S. ties have plunged to their lowest level since the Cold War era — first over Russia’s annexation of Crimea in addition to support for pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine, more recently over allegations of which Moscow interfered inside the U.S. presidential election to help Trump.
While Russian officials have said the two countries were continuing to exchange a terror-related intelligence, Sunday’s statement by the Kremlin was Russia’s first public assertion of which information by the United States helped prevent an attack.
The conversation was the second between the Russian in addition to U.S. presidents since Thursday, when Trump thanked Putin for his remarks “acknowledging America’s strong economic performance,” according to the White House.
During the first call, they also discussed during ways to work together to address North Korea’s nuclear in addition to ballistic weapons program, the White House said.
The Federal Security Service, or FSB, announced Friday of which seven suspected followers of the Islamic State group had been arrested for allegedly planning to carry out terror attacks in St. Petersburg This particular weekend.
The agency said the suspects were plotting a suicide bombing in a church in addition to a series of various other explosions inside the city’s busiest areas This particular coming weekend on is actually orders. the item said a search of a St. Petersburg apartment found explosives, automatic weapons in addition to extremist literature.
Russian news reports said of which Kazan Cathedral, a landmark 19th century Russian Orthodox church on St. Petersburg’s central Nevsky Prospect, was the prime target.
If the suspects succeeded in bombing the cathedral, the item might have been the first major attack on a Russian Orthodox Church by Islamic terrorists, who have blown up apartment buildings, passenger planes in addition to transport facilities in Russia.
In April, a suicide bombing inside the St. Petersburg’s subway left 16 dead in addition to wounded more than 50.
Russian TV stations have aired footage daily since Friday of the suspects inside the foiled attacks being apprehended in addition to questioned. One segment showed FSB operatives outside a St. Petersburg apartment building detaining a suspect, who appeared later saying he was told to prepare homemade bombs rigged with shrapnel.
“My job was to make explosives, put the item in bottles in addition to attach pieces of shrapnel,” the suspect, identified by Russian media as 18-year old Yevgeny Yefimov, said inside the footage released by the FSB.
Several various other suspects came by mostly Muslim regions in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus, in addition to one man was by the ex-Soviet nation of Tajikistan of which borders Afghanistan.
The TV reports included footage of a metal container, which the suspects used as a laboratory for doing explosives, according to the FSB. Another video showed operatives breaking the doors in addition to raiding an apartment used by various other suspects.
Last week, the FSB said the item also arrested several is actually-linked suspects in Moscow, where they allegedly were plotting a series of suicide bombings to coincide with completely new Year’s celebrations.
The latest calls between Putin in addition to Trump came after the Russian leader praised his U.S. counterpart during a marathon news conference on Thursday.
Putin hailed Trump’s achievements, saying of which global markets have demonstrated investors’ confidence in Trump’s economic policies. He said he hoped the U.S. president might be able to follow through on his campaign promises to improve ties with Russia despite pressure by his political foes at home.
During the news conference, Putin also reaffirmed his multiple denials of meddling inside the 2016 U.S. presidential election in addition to argued of which the U.S. is actually only hurting itself with investigations of alleged collusion between Trump in addition to Russia.