The Russian spy ship trolling the waters off New London, Connecticut, leaves President Donald Trump in an awkward position today. The Viktor Leonov, which is the name of that spy ship with the Russians at the helm, looms in an area that is not far from the submarine base located in Groton, Connecticut.
While it is nearby, at just 30 miles off the beaches of the Nutmeg State, it is still in international waters. The boundary for U.S. waters goes out only 12 miles from shore. According to the information that Fox News has received, this is the furthest north this well-known Russian spy ship has traveled along U.S. East Coast.
According to an unnamed U.S. official who spoke with Fox News, the Viktor Leonov spy ship is “loitering” in the waters off the coast of New England. While it has not entered the territory of the U.S. waters, it has still sparked some concern today.
The ship is armed with surface-to-air missiles, but it is a ship designed for intercepting communications. Collecting data is its main function and the data it is designed to collect is U.S. Navy sonar capability, according to the Connecticut Post.
Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut tweeted that with the ship so close to the U.S. coastline, it looks as if Russia was given the go ahead to be there. You can see Murphy’s tweet below.
Russia is acting like it has a permission slip to expand influence, test limits of reach. Questions are obvious: does it, and if so, why? https://t.co/6Hsm7T2GO2— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 15, 2017
With all the buzz about Trump and Putin making friends, could this be a test for both Donald Trump and the U.S. today? Fox News live this afternoon is streaming pictures of four Russian jets buzzing extremely close to U.S. Navy ships in the Black Sea, which occurred on Friday. This is another action which seems to suggest they are testing just how much taunting the U.S. will take before making a move.
Some officials are suggesting that with this Russian ship lurking off Groton, Connecticut, it appears as if it were some type of test for the U.S. and the newly elected president. The Connecticut Post reports that news of the Russian Spy ship so close to the Connecticut coastline spawned a swift response by Connecticut’s congressional delegation.
The ship is not far from the primary submarine base for the U.S. East Coast in Groton and the Coast Guard Academy in New London. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, stated his concerns over the Russian spy ship being so close to Connecticut shores.
“The presence of this spy ship has to be regarded very seriously because Russia is an increasingly aggressive adversary. It reflects a clear need to harden our defenses against electronic surveillance and cyber espionage.”
The Russian ship lurking off the Connecticut shore comes on the heels of Russian aircraft buzzing U.S. Navy ships in the Black Sea and Russia violating the arms control treaty by deploying a cruise missile. Blumenthal said that this “only underscores the need for an independent investigation into possible collusion between the Trump administration and Russian agents.”
Connecticut’s governor took a much less urgent tone when speaking to reporters. Governor Dannel P. Malloy wasn’t surprised that the Russian spy ship was lurking around in the waters off the submarine base. Malloy said this is not the first time a Russian spy ship has been seen around submarines and knowing that it is there is “a good thing.” Malloy said that the massive amount of coverage this is getting is stemming from “Trump’s changed policy towards Russian.” He also said that no one should be surprised that there are spy ships in the world.
Murphy followed up on his tweet later stating that while it isn’t the first time this has occurred, it is part of a recent series of aggressive actions made by the Russians in recent days. Murphy cited the action seen with the Russian jets buzzing the U.S. ships and the creation of the missile that Blumenthal had mentioned. He also called for President Trump to “end their silence and immediately respond to these threats to our national security.”
[Featured Image by Desmond Boylan/AP Images]