Russian Warship Spotted 70 Miles Off The Coast Of Delaware, 1987 Treaty Violated
The Russian Vishnya-class Viktor Leonov ship was sighted Tuesday operating beyond U.S. territorial water. Just 70 miles off the coast of Delaware, the Russian spy ship violated the 1987 treaty that banned American and Russian intermediate-range missiles based on land, officials told Fox News.
This was the first move by the Russian military in the U.S. since Donald Trump took office last month. The new president has sought better relations with Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin. More recently, Trump has stated that the U.S. should “strengthen and expand its nuclear capability,” raising concern of a new arms agreement with Moscow that would reduce arms “very substantially,” the New York Times reported.
The Russian intelligence-gathering ship was armed with missiles and had the capability to intercept communications. It also measured U.S. navy sonar capacity and possessed high-tech electronic surveillance equipment and ammunition. It stopped in Cuba before heading north and was expected to turn around after passing by Connecticut before returning to dock in Cuba.
The Obama administration said in 2014 the Russian military had violated the 1987 treaty by testing a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile, the most serious allegation of an arms control violation. A year later, a Russian spy ship called the Yanter was seen near the Florida coast. The ship was accused of mapping U.S. communications cables, CBS News reported.
A Russian spy ship Viktor Leonov SSV-175, is seen docked at a Havana port Feb. 27, 2014. A Russian spy ship quietly slipped into Havana Bay earlier this week and was docked at a cruise ship terminal on Thursday, its crew casually taking in the view of the old colonial section of the Cuban capital as passers-by gawked. Photo: Stringer
Tuesday’s sighting came in the awakening of Michael T. Flinn’s national security resignation late Monday over his controversial contacts with Russia that could have likely landed him a victim to Russian blackmail.
The Trump administration has said it is reviewing its nuclear policy and relations with Moscow.
“We do not comment on intelligence matters,” Mark Toner, the acting State Department spokesman, told the New York Times Tuesday. “We have made very clear our concerns about Russia’s violation, the risks it poses to European and Asian security, and our strong interest in returning Russia to compliance with the treaty.”