Feb. 14 (UPI) — A Russian spy ship was spotted off the East Coast of the United States Tuesday, the same day the Trump administration confirmed the Kremlin had secretly deployed banned cruise missiles inside its borders.
The New York Times first reported that the Obama administration learned in 2014 the missiles were a violation of a 1987 treaty between the United States and Russia that banned ground-launched intermediate-range missiles.
A U.S. official confirmed to Fox News that Russia had deployed the cruise missiles to two sites in December.
Administration officials said one is still at Russia’s missile test site at Kapustin Yar in the country’s southeast and the other was shifted in December from that test site to an operational base elsewhere in an undisclosed location, a senior official told the Times.
The ship, the Viktor Leonov, was spotted in international waters 70 miles off the coast of Delaware and was likely headed to the sub base at New London, Conn., CBS reported. The ship had stopped in Cuba before heading north, parallel to the East Coast of the United States, following the Gulf Stream.
International waters begin 12 miles out from U.S. borders.
The Viktor Leonov last sailed near the United States in April 2015, an official told Fox News. The ship can measure U.S. Navy sonar capabilities and is armed with surface-to-air missiles, the official said.
“It’s not a huge concern, but we are keeping our eyes on it,” he said.
In September 2015, another Russian spy ship called the Yanter was spotted off the coast of Florida. The ship, which contained an underwater submersible, was believed to be mapping U.S. communications cables, CBS reported.