US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin spoke in a telephonic conversation on Sunday regarding counterterrorism and bilateral ties, according to the White House on Monday.
The White House said in a statement,” President Vladimir Putin of Russia called President Donald J. Trump to thank him for information the United States provided that helped foil a potential holiday terrorist attack in Russia”.
The two sides committed to continuing counterterrorism and also discussed bilateral ties and “future efforts to support effective arms control,” the Xinhua news agency reported.
Earlier on Monday, the Russian Federal Security Service said that it had detained two Russian nationals for plotting terrorist attacks during the New Year holidays in Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg, an action taken after having received information from the United States.
The phone call also came amid ongoing confrontation between Washington and Moscow in areas of arms control, the Middle East, gas supplies to Europe and Latin America.
In August, President Trump had said that he would invite his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to the summit of the Group of Seven in 2020.
Donald Trump has demanded that Russia be readmitted to the group despite the disagreement of other leaders.
The G8 format (the US, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and Russia) had been in place from 1998-2014. It was then reduced to G7 due to disagreements with Russia regarding the events in Crimea and Ukraine.
Russia had been a member of the G8 until 2014 when the country was excluded over its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
The G7 summit in France “became a bit tense, to say the least,” after Trump’s proposal to invite Putin, an unnamed European diplomat told The Guardian newspaper on Sunday.
(With inputs from agency)