11:14 GMT14 August 2020
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    US President Donald Trump telephoned Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to express his condolences and offer support for the Russian people in the wake of Monday’s terrorist attack in St. Petersburg that killed 14 people and injured about 50 more.

    "Both President Trump and President Putin agreed that terrorism must be decisively and quickly defeated," the White House said in a statement.

    "President Trump offered the full support of the United States government in responding to the attack and bringing those responsible to justice," the statement added.

    CNN believes that the tragedy in St. Petersburg could bring the US and Russia closer together in the war on terror.

    No one is spared

    Vladimir Putin was among the first foreign leaders to call President George Bush after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon with condolences and an offer of a coordinated fight against terrorism.

    “The mere fact that Trump telephoned Putin instead of just sending a telegram, means that he is looking for ways to mend fences with Russia,” director of the Institute of International Studies in Moscow, Alexander Orlov, told Sputnik.

    "Unfortunately, Trump has found himself held hostage by US domestic policy considerations. While on the campaign trail, he promised to normalize relations with Russia, but he is under a strong pressure from the opposition, which is trying to prevent this happening,” Orlov noted.

    Wakeup call

    Dmitry Danilov, director of the European security desk at the Institute of European Studies in Moscow, said that the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg came as a wakeup call and a stern reminder to world leaders of the real, not imaginary, threat the world is facing today.

    "Trump’s call is a normal human reaction to a tragedy and, at the same time, it is an assessment of the shared risks and threats both countries are facing today. The problem, however, is that [Trump] is facing strong political pressure at home as the crisis in US-Russian relations worsens each day,” Danilov said.

    Russia and the United States have a history of coordinated efforts against terrorism and this could become a starting point in such cooperation today, the head of the Russian Council on Foreign Relations, Andrei Kortunov, said.

    “First of all, we should think about reviving the US-Russian working group on counterterrorism that we set up after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US. We could also use our shared experience to prevent possible terrorist attacks during the 2018 Football World Cup in Russia,” Kortunov said in an interview with Sputnik.

    Dmitry Orlov believes that the next step could be closer interaction between Russia and NATO as a whole.

    “The need for promoting such cooperation was underscored during the recent meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels,” Orlov said.

    However, many experts believe that with the present level of mutual distrust, the process of Russian-US cooperation in the war on terror could be long and painful.

    On April 3, an explosion hit the center of St. Petersburg on the stretch of rail between two metro stations, killing at least 14 people and injuring about 50 more.

    One more explosive device was found at another metro station and was defused by specialists.

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    joint fight, coordination, terror attack, condolences, Russian Council on Foriegn Relations, NATO, Dmitry Danilov, Andrey Kortunov, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, United States, Russia
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