The U.S. has urged the Kremlin to seek a political settlement in Chechnya and criticized rights abuses by Russian troops during the two separatist wars since 1994, which spawned an Islamic insurgency that has engulfed the entire region.
It also provided humanitarian aid to the region during the high points of fighting there in the 1990s and the early 2000s.
Russian officials have repeatedly claimed that rebels in Chechnya have close links with al-Qaida. They say dozens of fighters from Arab countries trickled into the region during the fighting there, while some Chechen militants have gone to fight in Afghanistan.
Putin said the West should have cooperated more actively with Russia in combatting terror.
"We always have said that we shouldn't limit ourselves to declarations about terrorism being a common threat and engage in closer cooperation," he said. "Now these two criminals have proven the correctness of our thesis."