Russian spy ship Viktor Leonov was spotted 30 miles south of the base Wednesday morning, according to U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, who represents southeastern CT.
Evidently the missiles had been in development for years, despite protests from the United States that they violated the treaty. 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. By Wednesday, it was 30 miles south of a USA submarine base in CT. The Russian spy ship is also armed with surface-to-air missiles.
A Russian spy ship was spotted patrolling off the U.S. east coast on Wednesday, about 50 kilometres from a U.S. Navy submarine base in CT.
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The U.S. also sends its ships close to other countries.
"The Russian spy ship patrolling 30 miles off the coast of Groton and the SUBASE underscores the very real threat posed by a resurgent Russia", Courtney said.
The Russian intelligence ship is barely outside of US waters, which cover about 12 miles from the coast out to sea. The New York Times has previously reported that the Obama administration viewed the development of the missiles as a violation of a 1987 treaty between the US and Russian Federation that banned ground-launched intermediate-range missiles.
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Russian warplanes have repeatedly engaged American vessels in the region since USA forces ramped up their presence in Eastern Europe as part of the NATO-led "Atlantic Resolve" security operation.
Despite officials' reassurance that the spy ship's mission close to the U.S.is legal, some lawmakers condemned it as an overt display of Russian aggression. The Viktor Leonov was last seen in Havana in January 2015, during the Obama administration's rapprochement with Cuba. The ship was in global waters and did not violate worldwide water law, the congressman and U.S. Coast Guard told the Hartford Courant. "[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is a unsafe person, but this is really no threat to us right now, but having said that, it's being very, very carefully monitored in every possible way by the Coast Guard and by the entire USA defense establishment".
The ship is named after one of Russia's most storied war heroes who was twice awarded the Gold Star, Russia's highest military honor, for his actions in combat during World War II on both the European front and in the Pacific. "The Coast Guard continues to coordinate with federal agency partners to monitor maritime contacts operating in the vicinity of USA shores".
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The latest fly-by comes as Trump is facing increasing pressure over his desire to improve relations with Russian Federation . Also, in January 2016, a Russian fighter jet flew within 15 feet of a USA reconnaissance plane over the Black Sea.
The INF Treaty, signed by both the USA and Russia in 1987, states that there should be no American nuclear or conventional missiles, and their launchers within a short range (310 miles) or intermediate range (3,420 miles) near the Russian territory, and vice versa.