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Russian Spy Ship Spotted Near US Coastline

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A Russian spy ship named the SSV-175 Viktor Leonov was reportedly spotted patrolling international waters near the eastern seaboard Feb. 14, about 70 miles off the coast of Delaware.

The ship was en route from a port in Cuba to a sub-base in New London, Connecticut, according to CBS News. This particular ship will head south back to Cuba after landing in New London. 

The ship is described as an Auxiliary, General Intelligence trawler, or AGI, and such ships have been used by the Russian government since the 1960s.

Russian patrols are nothing new. In 2015, a Russian spy ship was spotted off the coast of Florida on a similar route from Cuba. Officials told CBS News that the ship was likely mapping U.S. communications cables.

International waters begin 12 nautical miles, or 13.8 miles, from the coastline of the U.S. The U.S. Coast Guard states that countries do not have jurisdictional power over foreign vessels that remain in international waters.

This particular ship was also spotted patrolling the coast of the U.S. in April 2015, one official told Fox News.

This encounter is one in a series of recent Russian-U.S. military interaction. According to the Washington Free Beacon, four Russian military jets conducted low flybys over the USS Porter, a destroyer docked in the Black Sea, on Feb. 10.

"There were several incidents involving multiple Russian aircraft," Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez, spokesman for the European Command, told the Free Beacon. "These incidents are always concerning because they could result in miscalculation or accident.”

Hernandez described the flybys as ranging from abnormally low altitude to low altitude and high speed. The Russian aircrafts failed to comply with requests to halt the flybys, and Hernandez also noted that a commanding officer described the maneuvers as "unsafe and unprofessional."

President Donald Trump has yet to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but the two have a scheduled meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, in July, according to RT.

Sources: Fox News, CBS News (2), Washington Free Beacon, RT, U.S. Coast Guard / Photo credit: Circa News

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