The United States provided intelligence to Russia that helped thwart a potentially deadly bomb attack in St. Petersburg, U.S. and Russian officials said on Sunday, in a rare public show of cooperation despite deep strains between the two countries.
Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday to thank him for the tip-off, which the Kremlin said helped prevent a militant bomb attack on a cathedral in the Russian city, as well as other sites.
The White House did not disclose details about the plot itself, but said the attack “could have killed large numbers of people.” Neither the Kremlin nor the White House identified the would-be attackers.
The U.S. warning allowed Russian law enforcement agencies to arrest the suspects before they could carry out their plans, the White House and Kremlin said.
Relations between Washington and Moscow have been damaged by disagreements over the wars in Ukraine and Syria, although Trump pledged during his election campaign to pursue better ties with Moscow.
That has been complicated by U.S. allegations - denied by Russia - that the Kremlin meddled in last year’s U.S. presidential election to help Trump win.
Russian officials say Putin believes Trump is not to blame for the tensions.
The phone call on Sunday between Trump and Putin was at least the second such call in the past week. On Thursday, Putin and Trump discussed the crisis in North Korea.