A call between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin shortly after the Boston attack illustrates this point.
In a statement after the call, the White House praised counterterrorism cooperation with Russia, including after the bombings. But the Kremlin went further, saying the two leaders agreed to step up cooperation in the field.
"Both sides underlined their interest in deepening the close cooperation of the Russian and U.S. special services in the fight against international terrorism," the Kremlin statement said.
Kerry, a former Massachusetts senator, has been reluctant to say anything about the suspects in Boston -- Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a shootout with police last Thursday, while his brother was captured the next day and criminally charged on Monday.
When asked last week whether the attack validates Russia's views on Chechnya, Kerry would only say "terror is terror."
"Terror anywhere in the world, against any country, is unacceptable," Kerry told reporters. "And we need to continue to stand up and fight against it. And we need to continue to stand up and fight against it in the way that we are."