Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Donald Trump on Sunday to thank the United States for helping stop a terrorist attack in Russia.
The United States shared intelligence with Russia about two Russian nationals planning terrorist attacks in St. Petersburg during the New Year holiday, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
The Kremlin announced details of the call, noting President Putin, “thanked Donald Trump for the information shared via the special services that helped prevent terrorist acts in Russia.”
The exchange was confirmed by the White House on Monday after the Kremlin issued a readout of the conversation.
“Yesterday, 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,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement.
Gidley said both Putin and Trump committed to preventing terrorism in both countries and also spoke about the state of the United States/Russia relationship.
On Monday, Putin again invited President Trump to visit Russia in 2020, according to a statement from the Kremlin:
In a Christmas and New Year greeting message to President of the United States of America Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin noted that Russia and the US were historically responsible for ensuring global security and stability and that Moscow speaks in favor of normalizing bilateral relations and establishing an equal dialogue based on the mutual respect of interests. The President of Russia also reaffirmed his invitation to Donald Trump to visit Moscow to take part in the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
Russia refers to the Great Patriotic War as the period that the Soviet Union fought Nazi Germany on the Eastern Front of World War II.
Many Russians are critical of the credit the United States receives for ending World War II, as they argue the Soviet Union’s defense against Hitler’s incursion helped end the war.
In recent years, Putin has bolstered Russian efforts to commemorate the country’s “Victory Day” in an annual massive military parade in May.
In a statement on the celebration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Moscows Foreign ministry spokeswoman reminded the West of Russia’s contribution to ending the war.
“As historians note, the Normandy landing did not have a decisive impact on the outcome of World War Two and the Great Patriotic War. It had already been pre-determined as a result of the Red Army’s victories, mainly at Stalingrad and Kursk,” she said in June 2019.