Three years ago, the Obama administration accused the Russians of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by developing and testing the prohibited cruise missile. Coupled with escalating fighting in eastern Ukraine and Russian jets buzzing a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Black Sea, Putin clearly thinks the Trump administration has given him a permission slip to flex his muscles. There was a Russian spy ship floating about off the DE coast. It was seen along the coast of DE and was most recently spotted in worldwide waters off the coast of CT near the Groton naval base. Also yesterday: "Moscow has deployed a cruise missile in an apparent treaty violation, a senior military official told CNN Tuesday".
Citing unnamed U.S. officials, Fox News notes that reports of the spy ship navigating off the East Coast surfaced on Tuesday, "the same day it was learned the Kremlin had secretly deployed controversial cruise missiles inside Russian Federation and flew within 200 yards of a U.S. Navy destroyer". It did not disclose the location, other than to say the ship was off the East Coast.
As a signals intelligence ship created to intercept electronic communications, the Viktor Leonov's proximity to Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, has set off alarm bells in the Pentagon and among intelligence agencies. On Monday the vessel was 70 miles off the coast of Delaware.
Ultimately, King and Himes said this is nothing new - the US and Russian Federation have been spying on each other for decades.
"We've got incredibly experienced, professional, competent people there, who have seen this behavior in years gone by", he said.
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It showed up in Havana, Cuba, in January 2015, and was spotted off the East Coast in April 2015, Petersen added. So what was the US ship doing in the Black Sea?
When I first saw a headline online on Tuesday suggesting that a Russian spy ship was off the coast of DE, I expected to see it attached to an article published by LeftWingersCryingInTheirCereal.com or TrumpWalksOnWater.com or any one of the other dubious sites that have popped up over the past few years, but I went ahead and clicked when I saw it was on what I consider a reputable site.
The ship's reported sighting comes as more questions arise over former national security adviser Michael Flynn's involvement with Russian Federation. The U.S. Department of Defense said its presence in global waters was not a threat.
The ship is being tracked by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday it is in the interests of both Russia and the United States to restore ties between the two nations' intelligence agencies, Reuters reported.